A Kelowna photographer captured images of a pack of wolves while on a weekend hike in Black Mountain Regional Park, Kelowna.
Mike Walchuck was hiking in Black Mountain Park on Jan. 21, when he spotted a wolfpack in the upper sections of the regional park. He said that initially, he thought the large canines were coyotes but after a better look realized that he was in the presence of four large wolves.
“All the wolves were wary of me and were moving away from me so I knew it wasn’t a dangerous situation,” said Walchuck.
After watching the pack from a distance, and taking some photos, he kept hiking and saw another two wolves further down the trail.
He posted a “heads up” on a ‘Hiking in the Okanagan Area’ Facebook page, to warn other outdoor enthusiasts of the canines.
“They weren’t aggressive at all and it was a super cool experience, but just be aware if you are hiking up there and maybe keep the dogs leashed,” Walchuck said.
Wolves are elusive, typically shy pack animals who tend to avoid humans, making their sighting exciting.
In recent decades wolf populations have grown as a result of habitat damage that actually favours the predatory canines.
UBCO Ph.D. candidate Melanie Dickie studied how wolves use clearings created by humans to travel and hunt animals, like caribou.
The Wildlife Restoration Ecology Lab (WiRE Lab), led by Assistant Professor Adam Ford, at UBCO is helping humans coexist with wolves and better understand the mysterious intelligent, and social predators who are crucial to the balance of ecosystems.
To learn more about the latest wolf research read more at Coexisting with Wolves at ok.ubco.ca.
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