News / Victoria

Discovery Island wolf's fate uncertain

The fate of a wolf on Discovery Island is as much of a mystery as how it got there.

It's unclear just what will happen to the canine, which was spotted on the island park off the shores of Oak Bay last week.

The island is void of small mammals for the wolf to snack on, and its sources of fresh water are quickly drying up. The surrounding islands are no better in terms of resources, said B.C. Parks supervisor Joe Benning.

Oak Bay's 10 Mile Point is the closest landmass, but Benning said the wolf would likely turn around as soon as it landed on shore because young wolves are notoriously skittish around people.

Conservation officers have set a trap in an effort to move the animal back to the Sooke Hills or Shawnigan Lake, which is its natural habitat.

They hope placing food and fresh water near the trap, will eventually make the wolf comfortable enough to step inside. But, it's difficult to encourage a wolf to walk into traps like these, which look like large kennels, he said.

As conservation officers ponder the wolf's fate, passersby are more interested in how it got there in the first place.

Benning said it's the first time he's heard of a wolf making a home in the area.

Wolves are good swimmers, and Benning said it could have island hopped its way to Discovery.

Although they are typically social animals, young males will occasionally leave their packs after an altercation with another male.

But ultimately, the wolf's reasons for heading to the island are unknown.

“How it got there is a question that will probably never be solved," said Benning.

More on