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Wolves kill dog just outside Bella Coola home

Wolves captured on trail cam near Saloompt Road
Four wolves caught on a game cam near the end of Saloompt River Road in the Bella Coola Valley on Saturday, April 15. (Julia Michalchuk photo)

A Bella Coola resident whose dog was taken by wolves in February is speaking out after hearing it has happened to other people in recent weeks.

Carol Blake said on Feb. 19 when her 10-year-old Australian shepherd walked down the steps off the porch to pee, out of nowhere wolves ran in and grabbed her.

Reluctant at first to do an interview, she said she wants to warn others how quickly the wolves took her dog.

“There were four or five of them and they were so fast it was a blur,” she said. “I think my throat is still sore from screaming.”

Blake has lived at her friend’s house in the Saloompt area for 18 years and said a forestry road runs through the property where lots of people enjoy walking.

She knows there are wolves in the valley and has seen them four of five times before, usually standing by the treeline at a distance.

Since the attack she has been keeping her other dog in the house with her and said every morning when she goes outside with him she has an air horn in her hand, just in case.

“Dove was a wonderful dog and I really wish it had not happened,” she said.

Conservation officer Chris Posthuma, who began working in the valley last summer, said Tuesday, April 11, the BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) RAPP line has only received two calls about wolves in the valley this spring. He encouraged anyone who has sightings of wolves to call 1-877-952-7277 so the COS has an idea of the location of the wolves and if they have to do any mitigation.

“I’ve talked with some locals who have lived here a long time and they said the wolves are more prevalent in the spring and later in the year head up to the mountains,” he said.

Posthuma said people should bring their pets inside at night and if out walking to keep their dogs on a leash.

“Wolf attacks on humans are very rare - there have only been a handful in all of North America. They are leery of humans, but dogs are prey,” he said.

Another resident posted on Facebook their dog was taken by wolves 50 feet away from the house when let out to pee, while someone else shared a video showing three dogs chasing a wolf off her property that had tried to grab a puppy.

READ MORE: Caribou recovery plan sees 156 wolves culled in West Chilcotin mountains in last 3 years

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Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
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