Man in his 70s mauled by wolf in northern B.C. flown to Vancouver with 'significant injuries'
Conservation officers hunt lone wolf after 'unprovoked' attack on man in a front yard
Conservation officials are hunting a lone wolf they believe attacked a man in his 70s in a front yard in northwestern B.C. late Friday.
Conservation Inspector Cam Schley said the man was attacked while walking home through a residential neighborhood in Port Edward at about 11 p.m.
The wolf attacked the man's lower body, leaving him with "significant injuries," said Schley.
Officials were able to interview the man from his hospital bed before an air ambulance flew him to the Lower Mainland Saturday afternoon.
"It's our understanding that the man was sent to Vancouver for further medical treatment," the conservation officer said.
Officials don't believe the man's injuries are life threatening. But the attack is alarming.
"This is very, very rare. Wolf attacks on people in North America are extremely rare," Schley said.
He said it's not yet clear what triggered the unprovoked attack. "That's a bit of a mystery ... we're trying to piece together."
On Sunday, Schley said officers were actively tracking the wolf and would continue their efforts through the night. But he said tracking dogs aren't effective and trying to capture wolves is very difficult.
"They are a lot harder to trap than bears," he said.
Schley said officials now believe the animal they're looking for is a lone wolf from the local area, unrelated to problem wolves in Prince Rupert, about 20 kilometres away.
In the last few weeks, people in Prince Rupert have reported multiple sightings of wolves, as well as several wolf attacks on cats and dogs.
"At least one of the wolves has lost a lot of fear of people, approaching to try to get dogs that are on leashes," said Schley.
People in the area are being advised to walk in groups, if possible, and to be aware of their surroundings.
- A previous version of this story, citing conservation officer Cam Schley, said neither dogs nor traps are effective for catching wolves. In fact, while it is difficult to trap wolves, it is not impossible.Jun 01, 2020 10:40 AM PT