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Wolf captured in Victoria released in 'undisclosed wilderness location'
VICTORIA -- A lone wolf that came to the big city over the weekend has been relocated to his new home by conservation officers.
People living in James Bay were shocked to see a wolf scurrying down a sidewalk on Michigan Street on Saturday and quickly called conservation officers.
Victoria police responded to the area to alert the public, but after a few hours there was no sign of the predator.
“He was running scared looking for somewhere to go,” said conservation officer Scott Norris.
Then on Sunday evening, several people living in James Bay frantically started calling police saying the wolf was wandering around in their yards and running through the streets.
“We got really, really lucky,” said Norris. “He ended up going into a backyard and was confined into a backyard and got himself hunkered behind a shed and a fence and then he was stuck in there and hunkered down.”
Conservation officers arrived at the house on Michigan Street and tranquilized the wolf on Sunday night.
A wolf expert who has been studying, photographing and documenting a lone wolf named Takaya tells CTV News she believes it is the same animal.
Cheryl Alexander is a conservation photographer who has been following one of nature’s great predators for six years. Takaya lives on Discovery Island off the coast of Oak Bay.
“I did confirm that it is Takaya by comparing teeth,” said Alexander.
Takaya was taken to be assessed by a provincial veterinarian early Monday morning in Nanaimo.
“He is a pretty healthy male; he is in good body condition,” said Norris.
Conservation officers believe the wolf left Discovery Island for a reason and say they won’t be returning him there.
“He swam away on purpose. He was trying to get off that island so we want to help him get to where he wants to get to," said Norris. "We will make sure he gets somewhere in the wilderness away from the city."
Alexander believes Takaya could have left Discovery Island looking for a mate or because it was difficult to get food because of the high tides.
The wolf is extremely self-sufficient and his diet is composed primarily of seals, but Alexander said Takaya will sometimes eat river otters, mink and goose eggs.
“He is pretty much a marine wolf,” she said.
Conservation officers wouldn’t confirm where they relocated the wolf, but said it was on the island in a coastal environment.
"It is currently in transit to an undisclosed wilderness location," the B.C. Conservation Officer Service tweeted Monday morning.