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Hope residents report wolf sightings in Laidlaw

Based on mannerisms, conservation says animals are likely wolf-dog hybrids
A shot of a pack of hybrid wolf-dogs that have suddenly appeared in the eastern Fraser Valley: from Laidlaw to Popkum. If you know anything about the origin of these animals, please call the Report All Poachers and Polluters hotline at 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP). (Valerie Schepannek/Facebook)

If it looks like a wolf, howls like a wolf, and runs like a wolf, it must be a wolf … right? The answer is, not always.

“They’re hybrids,” explained conservation officer Don Stahl, after receiving several reports of wolves between Hope and Laidlaw, as well as near Popkum along highway 1.

Hybrids, Stahl continued, are 99 per cent genetically identical, with the only differences being their mannerisms and skull measurements taken post mortem.

READ MORE: Hope hikers encounter wolf near Alexandra Bridge

Real wolves would be extremely timid, and would run from any human interaction, rather than display the inquisitive nature exhibited by these animals.

However, being hybrids removes them from the Wildlife Act, says Stahl, and as such, are not the sort of animal conservation officers can deal with. But without knowing their history, level of domestication, they’re not the sort of animal just anyone can approach.

As it stands, Stahl says there appears to be five hybrids that have split into two packs. And for so many of these animals, who have some level of domestication, to suddenly appear in an area, hungry, it’s likely they’ve abandoned.

If these animals had escaped from somewhere, the owners would likely be looking for them, Stahl added.

That said, Stahl urges anyone with information on how these dog-wolf hybrids came to be where they are to call the Conservation RAPP—Report All Poachers and Polluters—hotline at 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP).


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