Written by Daryl Braun
A recent post on social media about wolves being spotted near Richer prompted us to follow with Manitoba Conservation. The post urged people in the area to watch their pets.
Janine Stewart is a Human-Wildlife Conflict Biologist. She says there are no indications about any changes in the wolf population nor any reports of wolves bothering people and their pets. Stewart adds there are between 4,000 and 6,000 wolves in the province at any given time and they tend to avoid people. She shares some advice for pet owners in rural and wooded areas.
“For people who have pets, we recommend not leaving your pets outside unattended. Particularly from dusk to dawn, make sure you bring your pets inside. We really encourage people to make sure they are walking their pets on a leash and keeping them under control.”
She notes it is rare to hear about wolves bothering people or their pets.
“We don’t get a large number of reports of conflicts with wolves in relation to people and pets. Wolves generally try to avoid people if given an opportunity, so that’s likely why we don’t get a significant number of those reports. We try and encourage people to use that information to their best ability so things like, when they’re in wolf country, to make sure that they make lots of noise, making wolves aware of their presence and giving them the opportunity to avoid each other.”
Stewart says there are also some common sense precautions that people in rural and wooded areas can take with attractants like garbage and compost.
“Any wildlife that is given the opportunity to access human-based foods begins to associate people with food and is more likely to come into contact with people. So maintain garbage in a wildlife-proof building or storage container, with pet food, we encourage to feed their pets indoors. If you have to feed your pet outdoors, then we suggest removing their dish as soon as they’re done eating and certainly not leaving outside any longer than an hour.”
There is more information on human-wildlife conflict through this link.