Mysterious animal stalking B.C. community
Published Sunday, May 22, 2011 10:58AM EDT
Residents of a small community in British Columbia have a mysterious killer in their midst and are taking steps to protect their pets, farm animals and small children.
An animal thought to be part timber wolf has been stalking Bowen Island, just off the coast of Vancouver, for about six months -- preying mainly on dogs and cats.
"Anyone who has family, has pets, and anyone who has seen it, seen the way it looks at you, knows that it's dangerous to have around," said island resident Stacey Powers.
Her husband John recently caught the animal on video, and saw it snatch a gosling out of a nearby pond.
The animal has "shown no fear of coming up close to the house," he said, "and obviously you don't want to have a concern that he's there and all of a sudden the kids are in his range." The family is keeping its pets indoors and young children nearby.
A local veterinarian believes it is part dog, part wolf and that it may have been abandoned after being brought to the island.
"They are a mixed-up species. They are part domestic with the instincts of a wolf," said Dr. Alastair Wescott. "They don't react normally and so people can't manage them, and so dumping them is a common thing to do."
It is thought to be a young male weighing about 90 pounds.
Missing pet signs are posted all over the island. The animal has killed at least three dogs, more than a dozen cats and two sheep. Many deer carcasses have also been found.
The municipality has set up a hotline, bought a tranquilizer gun, and enlisted both Westcott and a professional trapper to find the animal.
Once caught, it is expected to be euthanized. Rescue organizations have been contacted, but the animal's behaviour has been so vicious they say there's no chance of rehabilitation.
With a report from CTV's Brent Shearer