Dog walkers and hikers are being advised to take precautions when hiking on the Sunshine Coast after a recent wolf encounter near the power lines at Pender Harbour.
Four wolves approached a woman with two unleashed dogs while they were hiking above the power lines. The wolves advanced and retreated until the woman was able to get back to her truck. The dogs were not injured. And while the wolves did act aggressively, they did not exhibit signs of predatory behaviour.
“There is no imminent threat from the wolves, this is very normal natural wolf behaviour. It’s not predatory, it’s just territorial,” said Sunshine Coast Conservation Officer Nicole Caithness.
She said the peninsula is home to at least one pack of wolves, and their territory ranges from Egmont to at least as far south as Roberts Creek. Springtime is denning season, which means if wolves have a litter of pups they are more sedentary and stay in one general area.
Those venturing into the wilderness who do hear wolves and see fresh signs, such as scat and tracks, are advised to keep dogs on leash, carry bear spray and make noise.
“When you’re out hiking beyond the power lines, you’re in their habitat. So the onus is on people to do everything they can to prevent encounters,” said Caithness, adding, “We’re not going to go out and shoot the wolves for exhibiting natural behaviour.”
All encounters should be reported to the Report All Poachers and Polluters line at 1-877-952-7277.