A wildlife photographer who tracked the Discovery Island wolf Takaya for seven years says the animal has been killed by hunters.
Cheryl Alexander said she was sure it was Takaya when learned that a tagged wolf had been shot, and she was certain after learning the ear tag was labeled 1-295.
After spending about eight years on Discovery Island – an islet off the eastern coast of Greater Victoria – Takaya was spotted around Victoria’s James Bay neighbourhood. The famed wolf was captured Jan. 26 and released in a coastal habitat on the west side of Vancouver Island.
“It’s heartbreaking to find out [Takaya was killed] because I was very excited that he actually seemed to be doing really well after being relocated,” Alexander said. “It can’t have been easy for a wolf of his age to be dumped in a new environment. He spent eight years on [Discovery Island] and all of the sudden he was in a coastal rainforest area.”
Alexander said Takaya was killed in the wilderness area northwest of Victoria – somewhere between Port Renfrew and Shawnigan Lake.
“It was exciting that he was surviving, so it’s devastating that his life is ended in this senseless way,” she said. “He wasn’t doing anything wrong, he wasn’t attacking livestock, he was just trying to make his way in the wilderness. To be shot for no reason other than the fact that he was a wolf, is just tragic.”
Alexander hopes Takaya’s death will trigger reflection on hunting regulations.
“I hope we can examine our relationship with wild carnivores and our habitat and what we’re doing to destroy it,” she said.
The BC Conservation Service could not yet be reached for confirmation of Takaya’s death.
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