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Hiker rescues dog from jaws of a wolf in attack on southern Vancouver Island

The hiker was walking with their dog on a trail on Broom Hill
Conservation officer Peter Pauwels said coastal wolf attacks on dogs are rare near Greater Victoria. (File photo courtesy of Ian McAllister/Pacific Wild)

A hiker had to scare off a wolf that had their dog by the neck while on a trail in Broom Hill, northwest of Sooke.

On Jan. 8, the owner had been walking with the dog off-leash when the dog wandered off the trail into the trees, according to conservation officer Peter Pauwels, who responded to the call. The owner ran after the dog when she heard it yelping. They found their dog being held by the neck in the jaws of a wolf, which the owner managed to scare off.

The dog is still in veterinary care.

Pauwels spoke with T’Souke First Nation, whose territory the trail runs through, and went to the scene the day after to verify the hiker’s story. But he said conservation officers aren’t actively looking for the wolf.

“Certainly up Island it’s not uncommon for off-leash dogs to be attacked, but it’s more often cougars attacking off-leash dogs,” he said. “It’s a first attack on a dog by a wolf in many years.”

Rumours on some Facebook accounts had circulated of multiple wolf attacks, but Pauwels said conservation had only received calls about one.

“Anytime you’re out hiking on our wilderness trails, there is a risk of cougars, wolves, bears, other dogs,” he said. “People should keep their dog close at hand and ideally on a leash, but not everybody is going to follow that advice.”

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