Pacific Rim National Park sees first wolf attack on an on-leash dog

Pacific Rim National Park sees first wolf attack on an on-leash dog

Wolves attack dogs in two separate incidents near Ucluelet this week

A Nanaimo dog is fortunate to be alive today after surviving a wolf attack on a beach near Wya Resort.

It happened near dusk Tuesday. The dog, named Chester, was running off leash, not far from his owner when the attack happened.

“I was yelling at it to stop and go away but then I started to get scared that it was a wolf,” says Chester’s owner Isabel Flood. “So I started backing away and I was worried about my boys safety and my own.”

Flood saw the wolf dragging Chester towards the bush. She thought he might be dead.

“There were a couple of campers up top heard the noise came down and chased the wolf off,” says Trish Dossett who was staying at the resort.

“They were aggressively screaming at him and throwing some stuff at him and then my dog was able to wriggle away,” says Flood, who says she’s extremely grateful to them.

With Chester’s leg bleeding quite badly the closest option for help was a 24 hour veterinarian clinic in Nanaimo. She learned there Chester would survive.

Fast forward to today.  A person is out walking their dog on Wickaninnish Beach, this time on leash, when a wolf attacks.

“Before today we never had a case of a wolf attacking a dog on leash,” says Renee Wissink of Pacific Rim National Park. “It’s far less likely but they get pretty bold.”

Parks staff has closed the Wickininish Beach area for at least 24 hours. They’ve also banned all dogs in the Long Beach section of the park for one week.

“They’ve learned these ones off leash are easy prey so now they’re learning that if they see one on leash that they’re going to go after that as well so it’s kind of an escalation of what we’ve been seeing and that’s very concerning.”

Parks staff say there is a pack of 7 wolves that have been approaching dogs more often.

Flood says she has a new respect for the west coast and says she will be much more wary if she visits again.

“Tofino-Ucluelt is a wilderness area and wilderness means there’s wildlife there that you need to be really careful of. It’s a beautiful part of the island but it’s a wild part of the island.”

It was the first time she has been face to face with a wolf. 

She’s hoping her story will help others avoid a similar experience.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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