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Local animal lovers react to the killing of BC's iconic lone wolf Takaya

Locals are calling for an end to the recreational killing of BC wolves, and we speak to Raincoast Conversation Foundation's Ross Dixon about their most recent campaign to protect the species.

Animal lovers across the world were left devastated last month when the news broke that BC’s beloved lone wolf Takaya had been killed by hunters.  

On March 24, The B.C. Conservation Officer Service announced that the iconic wolf was tragically killed by a hunter near Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island, and the news sparked a huge outpouring of grief among the public.

Locals took to social media to share their reactions to Takaya’s untimely death, with many sharing touching tributes to the intriguing animal.

Takaya captured the hearts of animal lovers around the world after becoming the subject of a CBC wildlife documentary entitled Takaya: Lone Wolf. 

The documentary followed ‘the remarkable story of a solitary wolf living against the odds and his close bond with renowned wildlife photographer Cheryl Alexander,’ and captured not only the attention, but the hearts, of animal lovers everywhere.

That’s why the news of his death has caused so much upset among the local community especially, with many calling for a change to the BC hunting laws to stop other wolves facing the same tragic fate.

Last week the Raincoast Conservation Foundation launched a campaign to put an end to all recreational killing of wolves in BC, and they are encouraging anyone affected by the news of Takaya’s death to take action.

Ross Dixon, Communications & Development Director at Raincoast Conservation Foundation, explains that although Takaya’s death has been headline news worldwide, wolves are being hunted almost year-round in British Columbia.

“I think there has been such a strong reaction to Takaya’s death because it’s easier to connect emotionally to an animal who we can recognize. It makes it very real for all of us”, explains Ross.

“We know his name and his story, so his death has obviously struck a chord with a lot of people. But unfortunately, this is not a rare occurrence. Over 1,200 BC nameless wolves are killed annually for recreational purposes and now is the time to take action.”

Raincoast Conservation Foundation has been researching wolves for years, including studying the biological effects that hunting of wolves have, and how that is carried through generations.

Photo of Takaya before being killed
Photo Credit: April Bencze

Ross continues, “Many people in BC care deeply for wildlife, and we are lucky to live in a place that still has a full suite of large carnivores, including wolves. We believe that should be celebrated."

“All life has intrinsic value. Often societal concerns of animal welfare have only applied to animals under human care, such as farm, companion, or research animals.

"In Raincoast’s view, the extension to wild animals is conspicuously missing. This is why we advocate for a wildlife welfare ethic and wolves would be one obvious beneficiary,” he adds.

“No animals should have to experience any undue harm or suffering, and Takaya’s death is a time for us all to look at these laws and do what we can to make a difference."

If you want to learn more about the Raincoast Conservation Foundation’s campaign and their work to protect wolves, you can visit their website, and follow them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.



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