British Columbia

Dumped B.C. wolves spark outrage, debate

The discovery of two wolf carcasses in a garbage dumpster on Vancouver Island has sparked more debate about how the animals should be dealt with in B.C.

Warning: The video attached to this story includes visuals that may be disturbing for some viewers

A conservation officer removes one of the wolves from a dumpster in Tofino, B.C. (CBC)

The discovery of two wolf carcasses in a garbage dumpster on Vancouver Island has sparked more debate about how the animals should be dealt with in B.C.

The carcasses appeared to have been shot.

Terry Dorward, a councillor of the nearby Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, said it was against traditional laws to kill wolves. "To treat them in this outright disrespect is horrifying," he said.

"If they [the killers] knew how sacred these wolves are to the First Nations people — if they had an understanding — they probably wouldn't do it," said Levi Martin, a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht.

The wolves may have been killed on nearby Meares Island, just across a narrow channel from the town. The RCMP is investigating.

Wolves have become a growing problem on Vancouver Island and throughout B.C., with more frequent encounters in residential areas reported in recent years.

In the summer of 2010, wolves were regularly spotted near Sooke, west of Victoria.

Last month, two small dogs were killed in a residential neighbourhood in Tofino, and it was determined that wolves were the likely culprits.

There are now concerns in Tofino that the dumped wolves may have been shot in retaliation for that attack.

Lisa Jarvis said she was very disturbed by the incident.

"I've been pretty sick to my stomach the whole night. I was up all night just trying to contact people and the media and get awareness about what's happening here because this can't happen again," the Tofino resident said.

Local environmentalists say the wolves are being squeezed out of their normal range.

"To me it emphasizes the need to protect more habitat for wolves. I think that's why they've ended up in town is that they're running out of habitat," said Bonny Glambeck of Friends of Clayoquot Sound.

Hunting wolves with a permit is allowed but only in certain areas.

With files from Dean Stoltz and the CBC's Belle Puri

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