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Ucluelet area sees growing wolf clan

Dec 02 2012

B.C.'s Conservation Officer Service has confirmed sightings of wolves in Ucluelet, prompting a request for residents to keep their eyes open for the animals.

Conservation officer Brittany Mueller says the service will be monitoring Ucluelet closely.

There has been a significant increase in wolf activity on the West Coast over the past few years.

The most recent Ucluelet sighting was reported Nov. 23. No sightings have been reported in Tofino since July.

Conservation officers are encouraging residents to share reports of the animals.

"We're definitely not getting as much reporting as we would like," Mueller said.

"We like the public in a community, when they know that they're seeing wolves, to report it as soon as possible. ... It allows us to monitor behaviours, monitor movements, and that way we can keep an eye on things."

She encourages locals who encounter a wolf to try to scare it by making loud noises and throwing things at it.

"We want to make sure the public instils wariness in it by attempting to scare it away," she says. "Wolves are extremely smart and highly adaptable. Once they learn there is no food available to them, and they're not welcome in the community, they will leave."

Residents are urged not to approach wolves or make any attempts to photograph them. Garbage should be covered, and pets should be kept indoors or on a leash when outside. No animals should be left outside unattended, Mueller said.

"The risk to us is low, but to pets it's quite high," she said.

"We have seen in the past where wolves come in and have taken dogs unattended."

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