Last week, news of a wolf being shot in a legal hunt on Vancouver Island shocked many – not only because wolf hunting here could be legal, but tragically this was the wolf found in Victoria who had been recently relocated by Conservation Officers. The wolf previously spent years living alone on Discovery Island, just off of Oak Bay, B.C and was known to local peoples as Takaya.
Takaya was one of B.C.’s elusive sea wolves – a rare group of wolves on our coastlines that live mostly off the sea. These wolves can spend their whole lives on islands – often swimming miles between them – living off of salmon, barnacles, seals, and other marine fare. Predators like wolves play a keystone role in their environment, helping to shape entire ecosystems. Vancouver Island’s population of wolves may not be as well known as those who live on the central coast of B.C. near the Great Bear Rainforest, but removal of any of these animals can have cascading negative ecosystem-wide effects.
This incident highlights the ongoing problem with trophy hunting in B.C. – a problem that did not end with the banning of the grizzly bear hunt. Wolves, cougars and black bears continue to be legally hunted. The BC SPCA is opposed to the hunting of any animal for trophy, whether or not any of the meat is consumed. Where hunting is practised to obtain meat for personal food consumption purposes, the BC SPCA believes it must be carried out in an ethical, humane, responsible and sustainable manner by qualified and experienced hunters, abiding by applicable laws and regulations.
Although the BC SPCA is deeply concerned with the nature of trophy hunting, the killing of Takaya was a legal hunt and the BC SPCA is not opening a cruelty investigation. The Conservation Officer Service says they are investigating and further details will be released as available.
Takaya will not be forgotten and we will continue to oppose trophy hunting and advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves.
Learn more about the BC SPCA’s work in wild animal welfare.