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Trapper expertise used to safely capture escaped Aldergrove zoo wolf

Trail cameras helped pinpoint wolf’s movements
Trail cameras were used to help monitor the movement of Tempest, a wolf at the Greater Vancouver Zoo. (BC Trappers Association)

The young female wolf that was missing for two days was returned to its pack at the Greater Vancouver Zoo with the assistance of two Langley trappers.

The B.C. Trappers Association has posted a photo of Tempest from a trail cam set up to monitor the animal’s movements so it could be recaptured and returned to its enclosure that had been deliberately cut open.

“When their other methods weren’t working, local trappers were called,” explained Tim Killey, president of the association.

The zoo along with B.C. Conservation members tried to locate the missing wolf.

Once the trappers become involved, the wolf was quickly found.

“We set out traps Thursday and caught the wolf Friday morning,” he said.

Tempest stayed on the zoo property.

“We didn’t think the wolf would go very far,” Killey said.

Killey explained that as an animal raised in captivity, it is not domesticated but would also not be able to survive in the wild. Zoo-raised wolves, for instance, would not know how to hunt for food.

If it was a wild wolf, it would not have stayed in the area, he added.

Technology helped locate Tempest which was spotted on trail cameras.

“We didn’t just deploy our traps. We deployed our cameras,” he explained.

A foothold restraining trap was used. Killey said it meets Agreement on International Humane Trap Standards and it doesn’t injure the animal. He added it’s the trap used most in B.C.

“It was returned to its pen unharmed,” he explained.

The zoo staff had arrived on the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 16 to find that the enclosure had been cut open and wolves were out.

The cubs remained in the enclosure and all but two of the wolves were soon recaptured. Chia, a young wolf, escaped outside of the zoo property and was found dead, likely hit by a car. Killey said the wolf had no experience with things such as cars so being released pretty much “dooms” it.

“Releasing them was the worst thing to do for those animals,” he said.


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Heather Colpitts

About the Author: Heather Colpitts

Since starting in the news industry in 1992, my passion for sharing stories has taken me around Western Canada.
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