Wolf sighting alarms Thunder Bay parent

A Thunder Bay resident says a recent brush with a wolf has her worried about safety in the city

Wolves becoming more common in urban areas in the northwest

Wolf sightings are on the rise in urban areas across the northwest. (istockphoto.com)

A recent brush with a wolf has a Thunder Bay resident worried about safety in the city.

Jennifer Gooden said she nearly hit a wolf while driving on Balmoral Street in Thunder Bay on Oct. 18.

"I have children that play outside," Gooden said. "I have family pets - a dog - and I would not want anything to happen."

Following their stomachs

A provincial wolf expert said wolves are following their stomachs into city limits.

Ministry of Natural Resources field research scientist Brent Patterson said wolf sightings are on the increase across the northwest. He said that may be due to the steady decline of deer in the bush.

He also noted the predators are drawn by hunger into communities like Thunder Bay.

"The wolves that are remaining are probably more hungry than normal," Patterson said. "There is extra incentive for them to come into urban areas where deer numbers are still strong."

Wolves are generally quite shy of people and attacks are rare, he added. But small dogs are potential prey, and need to be kept fenced up to be safe from wolves.