‘It was pretty magical’: Video surfaces of wolf spotted at Esquimalt Lagoon

Clarisa Greene
A wolf spotted at Esquimalt Lagoon is shown.

The University of Royal Roads has issued a campus alert after what was likely a wolf spotted at the nearby Esquimalt Lagoon.

“Please steer clear, continue to keep dogs on leash when anywhere on campus, and keep children nearby and in sight,” Royal Roads said on its Twitter account Monday afternoon.

Clarisa Greene noticed what appeared to be a wolf on her routine Monday morning walk.

“It was pretty magical,” said Greene, who managed to take a video from across the lagoon. “I’ll be 28 in October and I’ve never in my life seen a wild wolf down here.”

Local experts believe if it is a wolf, it’s likely just passing by, possibly searching for food or a mate.

“Wolves don’t want to have contact with humans, they shy away from contact with humans,” said Gary Allan, a wolf educator in Nanaimo. “In a 24-hour period they’ve been known to travel 50 to 80 kilometres.”

Cheryl Alexander, a wolf expert, author and video producer, believes the reported wolf seen Monday could be the same wolf spotted in recent months on southern Vancouver Island.

“The wolf at the lagoon has similar markings,” said Alexander, referring to a video sent to her of a wolf spotted in Shawnigan Lake in April, and again at Albert Head lagoon in July. “Count yourself lucky if you do actually see it, but my guess is it will keep moving until it finds a place where it’ll feel comfortable calling it home.”

Wolves generally avoid people but can become habituated enough to approach them, according to BC Parks.

If approached by a wolf that doesn’t seem afraid, people are advised to try to scare them off “well before the wolf is within 100 metres” by waving their arms in the air to make themselves look bigger and making loud noises.

If the wolf displays aggressive behaviour, back away slowly and never turn your back on the animal.

Like other wildlife, wolves should never be fed as it’s also an offence under the BC Wildlife Act.

Those having a barbecue can prevent conflicts with wolves and other wildlife by putting away food and kitchen items, as wolves have been “reported removing personal and other non-food items from campsites,” according to BC Parks.

Anyone who encounters an aggressive wolf should also call the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-925-7277.

Kevin CharachKevin Charach

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