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Kelowna  

WildSafeBC says images online likely a group of wolves on the prowl

Wolves prowling Okanagan

It appears wolves have been spotted in the Okanagan.

A spokesperson for WildSafeBC, a provincial leader in preventing human wildlife conflict, Vanessa Isnardy, tells Castanet, "It seems very possible that these are wolves passing through. The size of the tracks would rule out coyotes. The fact that the three wolves were similar in shape but different colour phases, would point more towards wolves than feral dogs."

Lake Country resident and founder of the Okanagan Task Force, Kane Blake shared photos and a video of what looked to be wolves in his yard last week.

"The paw prints are huge. They're bigger than the palm of my hand," Blake said, estimating the animals he saw on his surveillance cameras weighed around 120 pounds.

Isnardy tells Castanet, "wolves are generally very wary of people and our activities. They also travel long distances and so they may have just passed through and not lingered in the area."

She says conflicts between wolves and people in urban settings is very rare.

"It is somewhat more common with people that raise livestock and occasionally with pet owners, especially when dogs are left unattended outside."

Blake says he's not overly concerned about his safety, or the safety of his pets, but Isnardy says it's a good idea to take a look at what's in your yard before letting your pets outside.

"There could be a number of animals that pets can get into altercations with, from raccoons, skunks, deer, cougar etc. Fencing a yard can add another layer of protection, especially if it is solid and animals cannot see into the space. They are less likely to jump into an area where they cannot see the landing," Isnardy says.

"Wildlife see our pets as a potential threat or potential prey. Therefore it is best to keep cats indoors, especially from dusk until dawn, and to keep dogs on a leash. A dog that follows a coyote, wolf, or even a bear, can become injured or bring that animal back to the owner as they seek protection."

Isnardy recommends hikers carry bear spray when out walking. For more information on preventing human wildlife conflict click here.



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