Wolf attack prompts warning for pet owners in Tofino

Wolf attack prompts warning for pet owners in Tofino

 WATCH: A deadly wolf attack has prompted warnings along Tofino beach entrances urging dog owners to be vigilant and keep their pets on leash. A dog was killed on Chesterman beach this weekend and tracks revealed at least two wolves were responsible,  Skye Ryan reports.

The wolf attack happened on Middle Chesterman Beach early Saturday morning, as Tofino and its hotels full of tourists were asleep.

Officials suspect the wolves came in from the treeline along the beach and attacked the local dog that was out patrolling his property. Now locals are taking precautions knowing another attack could happen within days.

A walk on the beach brings an edge to it for Pat and Jim Norton now,  it’s now why they’re walking with sticks.

“But you’re still walking. But we’re carrying a stick and a bear ball,” said Jim.

 Warnings are now posted at all entrances of Chesterman Beach alerting everyone entering the busy surf spot to be on alert and that pets need to be kept close and ideally on leash.
“Yeah we felt hesitant about coming back to the beach but we thought it would be unlikely they would be here in the middle of the day,” said Pat.
“Don’t walk at dawn and don’t walk at dusk because that’s usually when the animals are feeding,” said Tofino Resident Tracy Head.

Officials say wolf tracks found in the sand near the dog’s remains suggest several wolves were here and the behaviour of previous attacks suggest this won’t be their last attempt at taking the easy prey.

“Because sometimes when this happens it can be the beginning of a series of wolf attacks so what we really wanna do is work with the conservation service and people to ensure that we do everything right so that the wolves are less likely to come back and to try this again,”  said Tofino Mayor Josie Osborne.

While incidents like this involving Pacific Rim National Park’s wolves are rare Mayor Osborne’s own dog was killed the same way here six years ago.

“So I know how this feels and its a terrible and devastating thing to happen and we learned a lot about wolf behaviour through that experience,” said Osborne.

Conservation Officers are investigating the attack. In the meantime, people who come into contact with the wolves are being urged to not run, but make their bodies as big as possible and make noise, then fight back if it comes to that.
 All ss this wild west coast community tries to live peacefully with the wolves at its doorstep.
Skye RyanSkye Ryan

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!