October 29, 2013 - 7:52 AM
MERRITT – A local woman was lucky to escape a pack of aggressive wolves two weeks ago, but one of her dogs wasn't so lucky.
The pack of wolves approached a forestry worker near Merritt two weeks ago, forcing the woman and one of her dogs to retreat while the other fought off the aggressive animals.
Lawes Forest Management says a worker was starting a road traverse on Lower Michael Road and was within 100 metres of her truck when she was approached by at least five wolves. The animals got within three metres of her at which point she called her dogs and grabbed her bear spray.
One of the dogs stayed with her while she went back to the truck and called for help while the other stayed back barking at and fighting with the wolves. Once back at the truck the worker called for her other dog and while it made it back to the truck it had sustained major injuries and had to be put down. Both large mixed breed dogs were both pets and work dogs used for safety.
Lawes notes part of the company safety plan requires that workers either have a dog or bear mace when they go out in the field and many people do bring dogs with them.
Wolf populations in the province have grown steadily leading to a province-wide wolf cull with no limits for wolf kills in the North Thompson region. Company spokesperson Tanya Lawes says while employees don't often have wolf encounters she is hearing an increase in wolf sightings.
To prevent an animal attack it is recommended you:
-Raise your arms and wave them in the air to make yourself appear large, use a loud firm voice and try to convince the animals you are a threat, not prey
-Back away slowly and do not turn your back on the wolves
-Make noise and throw sticks and rocks at the wolves
-Use your bear mace if they approach close enough
-Call for help on the radio and let someone know your location
-Complete an incident report and discuss with crew
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This story was last updated at 9:14 a.m., Oct. 29, 2013.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013