Discovery wolf on the move

Animal hasn't been seen since it swam to Trial Island Friday

The wolf that was living on Discovery Island managed to swim almost five kilometres to Trial Island, just off Oak Bay, Friday, but it's not known where the animal is now.

Trial Island lighthouse keeper Meredith Dickman saw the wolf swim out of the water and onto the island, said B.C. Conservation officer Peter Pauwels.

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"She observed it for a few minutes and then lost sight of it," Pauwels said. "She didn't see it leave, but we think it must have left the island, as she hasn't seen it since and the island is not very large and pretty barren."

Which begs the question - where is it now?

It seems unlikely the wolf has returned to Discovery Island, where no tracks have been seen for days, so it could have taken a short swim to Clover Point or McNeill Bay, or swum with a westerly tide to the Colwood/Metchosin area, Pauwels said.

"If it went west, it could have gone to Albert Head and got out of the water without anyone seeing it and made it back to the wilderness from there," he said.

That would have meant a swim of eight to 10 kilometres in frigid waters.

In May the wolf was seen off Albert Head, before making its way to Discovery Island, and probably came from the Sooke area.

Pauwels is hoping the wolf picked the westerly route and, as days pass without any phone calls reporting a wolf in Oak Bay, it seems more likely it headed west.

"But if it did get into a really busy area, it would probably be trying to find its way out and maybe hiding out in the daytime and running at night," he said.

The wolf, which had been eating seals on Discovery and Chatham islands, seemed to be in good condition from photos taken by Dickman, Pauwels said.

jlavoie@timescolonist.com

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