British Columbia

One wolf still at large after animals escape in 'suspicious' incident, says Greater Vancouver Zoo

B.C.'s Environment Ministry says the Conservation Officer Service was dispatched after the Greater Vancouver Zoo asked for help recapturing wolves that had escaped their enclosure on Tuesday. One wolf remains unaccounted for.

Police called in after escape of several wolves 'believed to be due to malicious intent,' zoo says

The Greater Vancouver Zoo says one of its wolves is still at large after having escaped its enclosure on Tuesday. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Associated Press)

UPDATE, Aug. 17, 2022: Greater Vancouver Zoo closed for a 2nd day after wolf escape

The Greater Vancouver Zoo asked for help Tuesday recapturing wolves that had escaped their enclosure, B.C.'s Environment Ministry said. 

The ministry said in a statement that the Conservation Officer Service was dispatched and one wolf remains unaccounted for.

In a statement posted to its website, the Greater Vancouver Zoo — located about 55 kilometres east of Vancouver in the  Aldergrove community of the Township of Langley — said it asked police to look into what happened Tuesday morning, as the incident was deemed "suspicious, and believed to be due to malicious intent."

Later in the afternoon, the zoo said it was still working to capture "a small number of remaining wolves," which the ministry says are in the zoo's property, but not in their enclosure.

The zoo, which announced it was closed on its Instagram and Facebook accounts Tuesday morning, has nine adult wolves and six pups. It's unclear how many wolves had escaped. 

"Langley RCMP are investigating what appears to be unlawful entry and vandalism," reads the statement.

Anyone who sees the wolf is encouraged to keep a safe distance and report the animal immediately to the Report all Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line at 1-877-952-7277.

Safety issues

The Greater Vancouver Zoo has been the subject of controversy among animal rights activists and had a number of safety issues over the past several years.

In August 2019, a young girl was airlifted to hospital after she was bitten by a black bear at the zoo.

That same year, advocacy group Zoocheck found animals at the zoo were suffering from a lack of enrichment.

In a report commissioned by the Vancouver Humane Society, the group found that the zoo was holding animals in enclosures whose size prevented them from engaging in natural behaviours, and called for an enrichment program to address the well-being of certain captive animals.

In December of 2021, an employee at the Greater Vancouver Zoo was injured by a jaguar while attemping to feed it. (Greater Vancouver Zoo)

In 2020, the zoo announced a multi-million-dollar overhaul of the park, which the owners said would improve conditions.

But problems continued into the following year, when an employee was injured by a jaguar during feeding in December 2021.

With files from The Canadian Press


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