Regional wildlife specialist says wolves may be moving closer to inhabited areas in search of food
A resident living in a rural area just outside of Thunder Bay for the past 30 years says wolf sightings aren’t unusual, but she hasn’t before seen them in a pack like this year.
Marlene Cronk, who lives in the Rosslyn area of Oliver Paipoonge just west of the city, said trail cameras in the area have captured a number of wolves roaming together.
“We’ve seen one lone wolf here and there, or maybe two at a time, but never six or seven like we’ve seen in the past year or so,” Cronk said.
Cronk said while she raises horses and has a herd of them on her property, she isn’t particularly concerned about their ability to defend themselves.
However, she has two young weanling horses that she is worried the wolves could find if they follow deer closer to her property.
Brad Allison, a regional wildlife specialist with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, said the impact of two straight harsh winters on the deer population could be driving the wolves to areas where they wouldn’t be otherwise.
“The wolf population, when they are coming closer into more built up areas, human inhabited areas, they are still largely looking for prey,” he said. “When their prey, such as white-tailed deer has declined to some degree, they will take more risks to find prey and such behaviour is likely occurring at this point in time.”