British Columbia

Lone wolf in northern B.C. destroyed after stalking walkers, killing dog

A wolf that's been prowling city streets in Prince Rupert for several months has been destroyed by conservation officials after it approached people, stalked a dog walker, and killed a backyard pet.

Locals tracked wolf and warned neighbours on Facebook

Prince Rupert resident Mariana Hülsen spotted this wolf, which approached and growled at her. ( Mariana Hülsen/Facebook)

Conservation officials have killed a lone wolf that was prowling city streets in Prince Rupert, B.C.

Conservation officer Ryan Gordon says the wolf had been approaching people and recently killed a dog in a backyard. He says the wolf was severely underweight and coming too close for comfort.

"It was showing elevated levels of interest in people and increased habituation levels towards people, especially people out walking their pets," said Gordon, who fielded numerous complaints over several months.

In March, a woman walking her dog in daylight was stalked by the wolf. 

Neighbours share wolf warnings

Prince Rupert residents tracked the wolf's movements and posted sightings on a special Facebook page to warn neighbours when the wolf was nearby. 

Recently, the wolf was spotted pacing near a red van, playing near a Petro-Canada station, and prowling a hotel parking lot.

One resident posted that the wolf approached from the local fish plant and "growled at us."

A mother asked, "Any more wolf sightings? I would like to go running with my child today."

Conservation officials had advised people to keep small children close by, leash their dogs, carry bear spray, and avoid wooded areas at dawn and dusk.

The wolf was destroyed April 7, and Gordon says wolf complaints have stopped since then.

Gordon says wolves are common on the fringes of Prince Rupert and are often drawn in to the city while chasing deer. He says the city's wolves tend to be more habituated to humans than in other parts of the northwest. 

With files from George Baker and Daybreak North


Betsy Trumpener

Reporter-Editor, CBC News

Betsy Trumpener has won numerous journalism awards, including a national network award for radio documentary and the Adrienne Clarkson Diversity Award. Based in Prince George, B.C., Betsy has reported on everything from hip hop in Tanzania to B.C.'s energy industry and the Paralympics.