Wolves spotted around Giant Mine in Yellowknife

The Environment and Natural Resources department says wolves have been spotted individually and in packs, as recent as last week.

Environment department says wolf sightings not unusual, but ask residents to be careful

Wolves have been spotted around Yellowknife lately. The Northwest Territories Environment Department says it's not uncommon because the area is part of their range. (Dawn Villella/Associated Press)

Wolves have been spotted around Yellowknife in the area around Giant Mine, wildlife officials in the Northwest Territories say.  

The wolves have been spotted individually and in packs, as recently as last week around the boat launch near the Giant Mine remediation site, the Great Slave Sailing Club, Back Bay and Yellowknife Bay, according to a release from the territory's Environment Department.   

The wolves look like big husky dogs and weigh about 40 and 50 kilograms, the release states. 

Officials warn residents about walking their pets around these areas and warn people to stay more than 100 metres away from the wolves. 

"Begin a scare tactic immediately well before the wolf is within 100 metres," the release states. "Raise your arms and wave them in order to make yourself appear larger."

Wolf sightings in Yellowknife are not unusual, and conflicts with humans are very rare, the release states. That's because they are "extremely wary of humans and not aggressive toward them by nature." 

But they have been known to approach humans walking their dogs. In March, one Yellowknife resident and her dog had a close encounter with a wolf on Yellowknife Bay. 

The department is advising residents to carry around poles or sticks if they come in contact with a pack of wolves.

"Shout at the wolf if it ventures close to you. If yelling at the wolf has no effect hit the wolf with the walking stick if one comes within striking distance," the release states. 

To report a wildlife emergency call the regional office at 867-873-7181.