The wolf is a highly adaptive, intelligent carnivore that inhabits most of British Columbia
Most wolves weigh between 30 and 50 kg with coloration varying from nearly pure white to a mixture of grey, brown, black and white. Normally wolves are secretive and will run away when they encounter people, but they can become habituated and may approach camping areas and people. Wolves feed primarily on large ungulates (a mammal having hooves), supplementing their diet with smaller prey.
Avoiding Encounters with Wolves
It is extremely important to discourage wolves from approaching. Taking these proactive steps will prevent wolves and people interacting.
- Keep a clean and orderly camp. Cook and store food away from sleeping areas.
- Always keep children nearby and in sight.
- Keep pets leashed and under control. If possible, keep pets at home.
- Do not camp anywhere near a carcass. Wolves are likely to scavenge on and protect this natural food source.
- Wash dishes in a container and dispose of grey water deep in a water body away from camp.
- Do not approach wolves ever. This practice gets wolves used to humans and their scents which results in human habituation.
What to Do if a Wolf Approaches
The greater the space between people and wolves, the safer it is for both of them. If a wolf appears and acts unafraid or aggressive, take the following action as soon as you notice the animal:
- Begin scare tactic immediately, well before the wolf is within 100 metres. Do not allow the wolf to approach any closer than 100 metres.
- Raise your arms and wave them in the air to make yourself appear larger. Use noise makers (i.e. air horns), throw sticks, rocks and sand at the wolf, to scare wolves away.
- When in a group, act in unison to send a clear message to the wolves they are not welcome.
- If the wolf displays aggressive behaviour, back away slowly, do not turn your back on the wolf.
- Use pepper spray if you have it and the skills to use it safely. Be aware of the range and operating conditions of the product you are using.
Call the British Columbia Conservation Officer Service toll free at 1.877.952.7277 to report any aggressive wolf.