I was very disappointed and saddened to read that a wolf had been shot dead by a sport hunter on Texada Island [“Hunter kills wolf on Texada Island,” April 2].
Wolves have been completely wiped out of Mexico and most of the lower US states. There are a few wolf packs along the Canadian border and some wolves were successfully relocated to the Yellowstone National Park area from Canada. People in Washington State have recently discovered that the first wolf pack has returned to western Washington after a century-long absence.
In most of Canada and right here in BC we still have wolves.
In fact, BC is full of stories of people going out of their way to be able to live with wildlife, including large predators like wolves, also bears and cougars.
Black bears have been making a comeback in Coquitlam, Burnaby and even New Westminster thanks to an abundance of protected natural areas and a citizenry that enjoys seeing them. City governments have put in place regulations to help make it possible for these large wild creatures to live near where people also live.
Roosevelt elk were reintroduced to the Pitt Valley back in 2004 and by 2008 a pack of wolves had shown up there. The hope there is that grizzly bears, once a common sight in the valley, will one day return in number to feast on elk killed by the wolves.
Community leaders need to step up to ensure that the next wolf that shows up near where people live is not killed by someone with a gun.
The BC government must help, too, by closing down sport hunting of predator species, which play an important role in maintaining ecosystem health and should not be shot simply for the fun of it.
Wolves were pretty much eliminated from southern BC in past decades through a wrong-headed approach of government-sponsored bounties. These days wolves are making a comeback. With a little understanding and proper regulation you could be lucky enough to hear the howl of the wolf in a forest near you. Our lives will be the richer for it and the ecosystem healthier as well.
Joe Foy, co-executive director
Wilderness Committee, Vancouver