A sign at the Butze Rapids Trail entrance warns of wolves

Wolf concerns at Butze not reaching conservation officers

Wolf sightings in the Butze Rapids Trail has made some anxious about using the trail, especially with their dogs.

Wolf sightings in the Butze Rapids Trail has made some anxious about using the trail, especially with their dogs.

But Gareth Scrivner, a conservation officer in the North Coast zone, said the office hasn’t received more complaints than usual.

Scrivner said the Terrace conservation office has received 10 wolf complaints in the Prince Rupert area so far this year, and only two complaints about the animal come in close contact with humans. Scrivner said these were from the same incident, where a wolf ran after a cyclist near Kloiya Bay.

Scrivner estimates the office receives about five calls per year regarding wolves on Butze Rapids Trail.

“I think in the last five or six years we’ve removed one wolf from the trail itself, and that was probably four years ago. But we probably remove two wolves a year on average from Kaien Island,” he said.

Because wolves are territorial, they are more likely to move in if there is a dog present. But there are ways to prevent any problems from occurring.

“If folks are concerned about their dog’s safety, having them on a leash is the best thing to do,” Scrivner said, adding it’s important to control dogs if there’s wolves present.

“Get them back so they’re not going to disappear into the bush,” he said, noting the office has been informed of dogs being killed after chasing wolves away from their owners.

Scrivner said wolves are usually scared off by making loud noises, adding to always increase distance so the animal doesn’t feel threatened. For additional protection, Scrivner said people could choose to carry bear spray.

The conservation office depends on the public to monitor wildlife concerns, encouraging people to report all sightings by calling the B.C. Conservation Office Service’s 24/7 hot-line at 1-877-952-7277.