Unverified wolf sighting at Esquimalt Lagoon prompts alert

Royal Roads University issued a campus alert Monday after a report that a wolf had been spotted at Esquimalt Lagoon.

The university is asking anyone on its campus to be vigilant of their surroundings and to keep dogs on leashes and children close by and within sight.

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A spokeswoman for Royal Roads said the university was told the sighting was on the ocean side of the lagoon close to Ocean Boulevard.

Scott Norris of the B.C. Conservation Officers Service confirmed that someone had reported a wolf late Monday morning, but said said it was “unverified.”

Wolf activity isn’t common on the West Shore, but they have been known to frequent the areas from Victoria to Sooke and beyond. Earlier this year, a prison guard at William Head prison near Metchosin watched a wolf snatch a seal off the beach and start eating it on the prison perimeter road.

Norris said any time a wolf or bear is sighted, “it’s sound advice to keep pets on a leash because what happens is the bear or wolf will chase an unleashed dog back to the human.”

He said although there have no negative interactions between humans and wolves in the Sooke-Metchosin area recently, it’s best to treat all sightings with caution.

“One lone wolf is unlikely to go after dogs, people or children, but at the end of the day you don’t know how desperate they are or why they are there,” said Norris.

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