“Rescued” Wolf Escaped From Enclosure This Past August 2nd, and Now, After Less Than 48 Hours of Freedom, It Is Gone
A Brief Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted August 5th, 2022 on Niagara At Large
When news first circulated this week that a snowy white Arctic wolf – supposedly rescued from somewhere in North Ontario and enclosed in a pen in Port Colborne- had dug its way to freedom and was now being looked for by Niagara Regional Police, I didn’t think it would come to a good end.
And sure enough, less than 48 hours after this majestic animal had snatched a little freedom, a police officer fatally shot it in circumstances where, according to an NRP report, a resident in the area sighted the wolf and feared it would attack his or her farm animals.
Thus ended the short dash for freedom of a majestic female wolf named ‘Boo.’
I don’t necessarily doubt our Regional Police Service when a spokesperson for it was quoted in newspapers this August 5th saying that an officer on the scene was faced with a “difficult situation.”
So far as I know from my years as a journalist dealing with police, they receive training in dealing with a wide variety of people in a whole host of circumstances, but they are not wildlife experts.
If they confront a wild animal that has the potential to do bodily harm to others, the one tool they have that will truly subdue it is a gun, unless they happen to have a tool that shoots tranquilizer darts, which is an issue certainly worth some debate or discussion.
Another issue is where are any other wildlife experts in circumstances like this? Where are our area Humane Societies and where is the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, which once played a larger role in dealing with conflicts between humans and wildlife before the province began gutting its resources more than two decades ago?
As for any assistance from Canada’s federal government or any wildlife service officers it may still have to help keep alive a great creature like this, forget it. If the feds cared, they had a chance two days ago to step in.
Whatever the answers are to these questions, it is almost always the case that wildlife lose to humans almost every time.
In the case of this beautiful wolf, it lost with its life.
And in the end, when we can’t find better ways of addressing these conflicts between humans and other creatures on this planet, we are all the losers.
Why can’t we humans on this earth do better than this?
Doug Draper, Niagara At Large
Now here is a news release from the Niagara Regional Police –
White Wolf Escape in West Port Colborne – UPDATE #1
Posted on August 04, 2022
On August 3rd, 2022, at approximately 7:00pm the Communications Unit of the Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) began receiving calls related to sightings of the escaped wolf on the west side of Port Colborne.
As officers assigned to 6 District responded to the area, a property owner reported the wolf and expressed concern for the safety of their animals. Officers attended and attempted to contain and capture the wolf, however, were unsuccessful. The Niagara SPCA was contacted but had not yet arrived on-scene.
Given the close proximity of the wolf to the farm animals, out of concern for the safety of those animals, due to the wolf being potentially dangerous, an officer discharged a firearm and fatally shot the wolf.
The investigation into the housing of the wolf is ongoing and will be continued by the City of Port Colborne By-Law Department, the Niagara SPCA, and the Ministry of Natural Resources with assistance from the NRPS.
The remains of the wolf are currently with the Niagara SPCA.
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you are absolutely right on these questions, Doug. Had the same ones myself. Why is the person who had this animal, not charged by the ministry for holding a native animal in captivity? Why are PAWS & the OSPCA not better prepared for situations like this; it’s not rocket science to have a gun that shoots tranquilizers rather than bullets. And sadly it is indeed the animal who loses every time. Catherine Ens,, Niagara Action for Animals
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that’s disgusting and despicable
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What struck me was this comment “The Niagara SPCA was contacted but had not yet arrived on-scene.” How far away were they? Surely they were aware of the loose wolf and had a response plan. How long would they have to wait for SPCA to try a non-lethal method of a capture? Why is the “concern for the safety of (farm) animals” greater than saving the life of this rare wolf? I am furious she was being kept in the area in the first place. I dont’ blame her for wanting to escape. Would she have come to her captors had they been contacted? So many questions? – Sue Krekorian
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