The Tragic Shooting in Niagara of a White Wolf Named Boo

Why Can’t We Do A Better Job of Living With Other Life On This Planet?

Another Year-Ender Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted January 6th, 2023 on Niagara At Large

A year or two before the beginning of the COVID plague, at The Earth House, one of my favourite stores for aging hippies on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, I picked up a bumper sticker that reads; “My Species Disappoints Me.”

Unfortunately, the words on that bumper sticker –displayed to this day on a wall above the bar in the family room of my home in Niagara – ring truer and truer all the time.

The great white wolf Boo

When I look back at 2022, the year that has just past, some of the sadder moments involve the way far too many of our fellow humans have failed – whether trough ignorance or a drive for dominance or greed – to care more for and live in harmony with other species we are blessed to share a short period of time with on the only planet in our universe that supports life.

I could start with the continued moves by Ontario’s Ford government to weaken measures to protect endangered species in this province which continue into the New Year with legislation that threaten the precious woodlands and wetlands vital to the survival of a host of wildlife.

And in n Niagara, I am still haunted by the tragic story of Boo, a magnificent-looking, female white Arctic wolf who, around the first or second day of last August, escaped from a cage or fenced-in compound in Port Colborne/Niagara – a place totally foreign to her natural environment.

The minute it was reported in the mainstream media  that Niagara Regional Police were called in to help track down this four-legged fugitive, this veteran journalist and environment reporter thought; “Oh no. We’ve seen story before in regions all over North America when police are called in to deal with a wild animal like a wolf or a bear or a cougar on the loose in human populated areas.”

“This great white wolf,” I thought, “may very well be shot.”

And tragically enough, roughly two days after Boo made her escape, she was shot dead by police in a rural area of Port Colborne after a property called, expressing concern about the wolf wandering near his livestock.

It is far too easy, and it would be wrong,  to blame police for this.

Shortly after the shooting, police expressed their regret for blowing away the animal. And after all, police are not wildlife experts and about the only sure-fire tool they have to work with if someone pleads danger to their person or their property is a gun.

In my view, the parties that should answer the most for the death of this great animal are the Niagara Falls-based SPCA (formerly Humane Society) and Ontario’ Ministry of Natural Resource which has an office in in the region that, once upon a time, before Premier Doug Ford and one of his predecessors, Mike Harris, came along, did a great job of humanely resolving conflicts between humans and wildlife.

The Ministry of Natural Resources, grounded s it is by the Ford government, is totally useless to us now.

So what we had left in the case of Boof was the Niagara Falls-based Humane Society.

And what we got from the Humane Society in the hours and days following the shooting was a lot of blah, blah, blah about how they tried to engage licensed trappers and about how “complicated” it might be to find someone expert enough to subdue the wolf with a tranquilizer gun.

Really?

There were at least two zoos – the big ones in Toronto and Buffalo – within less than a two hour driving distance who possibly could have dispatched a member of their team here with the skill to use such a non-lethal tool. There may even have been individuals at Marineland in Niagara Falls or  the Safari zoo in Sevensville, Fort Erie with  access to a tranquilizer gun and the skills to use it.

After all of the blah, blah, blah, the bottomline, at the end of it all, is that this great white wolf paid with her life.

On the long weekend of last August – just a few days after Boo was shot – my wife Mary and I took a drive along the Niagara Parkway and stopped at Dufferin Islands.

While walking through this nice place upstream from the Horseshoe Falls, we, along with others, crossed paths with a sad-looking little animal that looked like a young coyote.  

That poor little coyote or whatever animal he or she may have been at Dufferin Islands last August. The critter had such an obvious well to live. Photo by Doug Draper

The animal looked emaciated and its coat looked awful, and it was coming up to those of us who were close by, begging for food.

A number of us gathered around and someone popped open a can of cat food they had in their car and the poor little guy or girl began lapping it up.

Someone in the group said they had seen this animal come down from a wooded slop above this Islnds to beg for food before. A person among us called the Niagara Falls area Humane Society while we were all there to report this animal and the person on the other side

The speakerphone was on so we all heard the call and the person on the other end said they knew about the animal at Dufferin Islands, then warned that if we fed it, we could be fined.

Once again, I have to say – REALLY?

My God. All people were dong was trying to help this little critter, which seemed like it had such a will to live.

And as emaciated as this little guy or girl  was, who knows if it could not have been restored to health if someone cared enough.

I tried calling the SPCA  in Niagara Falls a few days later to express my concern about this critter and the person on the other end sounded annoyed. I finished my part of the call by saying; “Look I didn’t call here for an argument.”

At the end of it all, I can only assume that this poor little animal went back up in the woods above Dufferin Islands and died.

Like I said at the beginning of this commentary, all too often I find myself feeling disappointed in my species.

To read a related story, click on – Niagara Police Gun Down Arctic Wolf in Port Colborne | Niagara At Large

NIAGARA AT LARGE Encourages You To Join The Conversation By Sharing Your Views On This Post In The Space Following The Bernie Sanders Quote Below.

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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2 responses to “The Tragic Shooting in Niagara of a White Wolf Named Boo

  1. Pogo comic strip, by Walt Kelly:
    “We have met the enemy and he is us”

    Poster:
    https://library.osu.edu/site/40stories/2020/01/05/we-have-met-the-enemy/

    Like

  2. That picture of that poor poor creature is absolutely gut wrenching hopefully it did go and die peacefully I hope and pray because obvious no human was going to go out of their way to help and why would you not feed it? That is the only humane thing to do and as for Boo needlessly snuffed because someone automatically assumes it is going to kill livestock when there are smaller easier prey about for it. Boo would not be stupid enough to on its own attack livestock. The world is so cruel when it comes to wildlife The bumper sticker is bang on.

    Like

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