Dog, owner have close encounter with wolf on Yellowknife Bay

A Yellowknife woman was skiing on Yellowknife Bay by Burwash Point around 6 p.m. Monday when she saw a wolf on the shoreline.

'I screamed her name and then at the wolf. And I had my ski poles up and I whacked them,' says skier

Stephanie Bauhaus' dog Bagheera had a close encounter with a wolf on Yellowknife Bay Monday. (Jamie Malbeuf/CBC)

A Yellowknife woman was skiing on Yellowknife Bay around 6 p.m. Monday when she saw a wolf on the shoreline.

"I looked up and the wolf was watching me as I skied past," said Stephanie Bauhaus, who was by Burwash Point.

Bauhaus said one of her dogs, Bagheera, ran toward the wolf and the wolf apparently tried to bait the dog and lure her in.

"I screamed her name and then at the wolf. I had my ski poles up and I whacked them together," said Bauhaus. "The wolf didn't appear scared of me."

The wolf finally backed away after "what felt like five minutes," said Bauhaus, but it continued to follow them for another 50 metres.

The wolf finally stopped following them, but continued watching Bauhaus and her dogs as she skied away.

'I screamed her name and then at the wolf. I had my ski poles up and I whacked them together,' said Bauhaus. (Jamie Malbeuf/CBC)

This isn't the first time Bauhaus has seen a wolf in that area. She said she saw a wolf in January and last Saturday.

Behaviour unusual for wolves: biologist

Dean Cluff, regional biologist for the North Slave region, said this type of behaviour is unusual for wolves.

"Either the wolf is really starving and hungry, or it could be affected by diseases like rabies," said Cluff.

The territory's Environment and Natural Resources Department has been getting calls from people who have spotted a wolf in the Back Bay area.

Cluff said there is no guarantee, but there's a good chance it's the same wolf that Bauhaus encountered Monday night.

Dean Cluff is the regional biologist for the North Slave region. He says the behaviour displayed by the wolf Monday is unusual. (Submitted by Dawn Curtis)

"It's assumed it's in poor condition. Because of that it could be more aggressive toward people while trying to get some food, because it's essentially starving," said Cluff.

Cluff advised that when encountering a wolf, you shouldn't run away or turn your back, but to try to look big.

He recommended throwing snow chunks at an aggressive wolf, or bringing a walking stick to use to defend yourself.

Anyone who sees a wolf can call the department's emergency line at 867-873-7181.