Parks Canada re-opens beach near Tofino after wolf attack last week
A coastal B.C. wolf, part of a research project, is shown in a handout photo. (HO-Chris Darimont/The Canadian Press)
UCLUELET, B.C. - A popular section of a national park on Vancouver Island that was closed following a wolf attack last week has re-opened.
Parks Canada says Wickaninnish Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is accessible to the public once again after being closed off for two days.
A wolf had attacked and injured a leashed dog on Thursday, following a number of close encounters with park visitors and off-leash dogs, signalling the wild animals were losing their fear of humans.
Parks Canada says in a statement that wildlife specialists worked with the BC Conservation Officer Service on Thursday and Friday to scare the wolf and restore a natural separation between the species and people.
The statement released Saturday says a temporary dog ban is still in effect, as is a wolf advisory.
Parks Canada says wolves are a vital part of the ecosystem, and if anyone encounters a wolf, they should not approach the animal, back away slowly while maintaining eye contact and making noise.
“Wolves may be encountered anywhere in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, however if these animals become accustomed to people, they are in danger of losing their wildness,” the statement says.