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One wolf was recently euthanized by Conservation Officers in Labrador West. It's a last resort, but sometimes a necessary measure when wolves enter town limits.
One wolf was recently euthanized by Conservation Officers in Labrador West. It's a last resort, but sometimes a necessary measure when wolves enter town limits.

After a wolf snatched a dog from the lawn of a Labrador City resident recently, Conservation officers have been working around the clock to monitor movement of the animals entering town limits.

One wolf was euthanized two weeks ago after causing problems and frequenting town site on a regular basis. Officials believe there is one more wolf out there that has been roaming the streets.
The officers are scheduled on 24/7 shifts and are on-call for extra assistance if a wolf is spotted.
Chuck Porter, Department of Forestry and Agrifood Senior Conservation Officer for Labrador West, said the office has received numerous calls as of late reporting wolf sightings. However, he was quick to point out there have been no indication of wolves showing aggression towards humans.
“In fact, when we’ve slightly spotted wolves around town they do everything to avoid us,” he said. “I can’t say there’s any recommendations from us not to go for walks or jogs.”
Porter noted the safest place for anyone nervous of taking walks is in the middle of town.
Porter said the month of August tends to see trends in wolf sightings more than any other, and Porter said it’s a natural pattern the wolves exhibit.
“The young pups born are bigger now,” Porter explained. “It has more to do with the food source being thin, especially when the pups start to get bigger.”
Porter said in these situations the animal is coming to town because it’s receiving a food source.

One wolf was euthanized two weeks ago after causing problems and frequenting town site on a regular basis. Officials believe there is one more wolf out there that has been roaming the streets.
The officers are scheduled on 24/7 shifts and are on-call for extra assistance if a wolf is spotted.
Chuck Porter, Department of Forestry and Agrifood Senior Conservation Officer for Labrador West, said the office has received numerous calls as of late reporting wolf sightings. However, he was quick to point out there have been no indication of wolves showing aggression towards humans.
“In fact, when we’ve slightly spotted wolves around town they do everything to avoid us,” he said. “I can’t say there’s any recommendations from us not to go for walks or jogs.”
Porter noted the safest place for anyone nervous of taking walks is in the middle of town.
Porter said the month of August tends to see trends in wolf sightings more than any other, and Porter said it’s a natural pattern the wolves exhibit.
“The young pups born are bigger now,” Porter explained. “It has more to do with the food source being thin, especially when the pups start to get bigger.”
Porter said in these situations the animal is coming to town because it’s receiving a food source.

“Wolves typically live around towns and feed off the local landfills, whether it’s the town’s landfill or IOC’s landfill, for example,” he said. “If food becomes scarce or there’s an influx of wolves in area, they seek alternate food sources elsewhere.”
This may lead the wolves into town, where roaming pets become a particular problem because they are an easy food source.
Prevention is worth an ounce of cure, Porter said, and the best thing residents can do is limit their pet’s time outside and stick to daylight hours, as wolves tend to visit areas under the cover of darkness. He added pets should never be allowed to roam, rather they should be kept home and supervised, and tethered if possible.

“A typical pattern of behavior is they come to town and within two to three days of not receiving food, it deters them from returning and they seek alternate areas for food sources, hopefully in a natural environment,” Porter noted.
Porter said removing food sources is the best course of action, and euthanization is a last resort.
“However, in a case like this when the animal…comes on someone’s property and takes a pet, the animal has crossed the line. When we seek it out it’s to remove it from town, and sometimes that means euthanizing the animal is necessary.”
Porter said tranquilizing the animal is not an option.
“It’s virtually impossible to tranquilize a moving wolf — it takes minutes to take effect. By that time it could be seven or eight kilometres out of town,” he said, adding it’s extremely difficult to intercept a wolf.
“It’s a very cagey animal, very slick and very sly. It easily moves from one area to another undetected. We’ve had cases where it was spotted in one part of town and literally two minutes later, spotted on the opposite end of town.”
Porter said while it’s understandable for residents to be nervous of wolf sightings, he and his team have made the public’s safety their top priority
“Any time human safety or property, in this case, pets, is compromised, that’s our number one focus until the problem is corrected.”
So far this summer, the conservation officials also caught 10 black bears in live traps, which were then tranquilized and removed from town. The bears were caught in wooded areas such as near Smokey Mountain, IOC, and Circular Road.
Porter said his office has been keeping track of all reported wolf sightings, including the officers’ own work spotting footprints, and pinpoints the locations on a map which helps predict when and where the wolf will show up.
“The more accurate reports we can get, the fast we are successful with taking care of the problem,” he said.
Porter also requested the public not approach officers patrolling the streets at night as they are performing a particular job.
“We do appreciate people having patience and allowing us to do our job, giving us space and the time acquired to intercept the animal. To try to interfere with that at any regard could possibly jeopardize even more public safety.”
Residents are asked to report any wolf or bear sightings immediately to the RNC at 944-7602 or the Department of Forestry and Agrifoods at 280-3747, with detailed information including the location of the animal and, if possible, the direction the animal was heading.

ty.dunham@tc.tc

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