A forestry worker’s encounter with a wolf pack near Merritt has prompted a safety alert from the B.C. Forest Safety Council.
The encounter took place two weeks ago on Lower Michael Road.
A worker had just started what’s known as a road traverse when at least five wolves approached her to within three metres. She was about 100 metres from her vehicle.
Tanya Lawes, of Lawes Forest Management said their employee managed to make it back to her truck uninjured and called for help. However, the dog that tried to protect her from the wolves was severely wounded.
“Once (she) got to the truck and got the other dog in there, she called to heel her (second) dog and it came, but it was pretty injured and once she got to Merritt, they had to put it down,” Lawes said.
Human encounters with wolves are extremely rare, she said.
“It’s not normal to come across wolves or to have them act like that, that’s for sure,” she said. “It’s more likely — if you’re going to have an animal encounter — that it’s a moose . . . or we’ve had a cougar and bears, but not wolves before.”
Pam Agnew, spokeswoman for the safety council, said they haven’t issued a wolf warning since 2009.
“We encourage everybody in the forest industry, because they work in every corner of the province, to provide information when they come across safety issues,” Agnew said.
The bulletin advises that people who encounters wolves should raise their arms to make themselves appear larger, back away slowly and not turn their back on the wolves, make loud noises and use bear mace if the animals get close enough.