A representational picture of a grey wolf, similar to the one spotted in Zeballos .(Wikimedia commons)

North Island community issues wildlife conflict warning after wolves spotted

Zeballos cautions residents to follow wildlife safety directives after grey wolves attacked dog

A wildlife conflict warning has been issued in Zeballos, after grey wolves were spotted in the community earlier in April.

A dog was attacked and killed by two wolves in the community during the early hours of the morning, following which conservation officers were notified.

Mayor Julie Colborne said that with Zeballos being a remote, rural community and surrounded by forested areas, there is bound to be wildlife interaction.

“Once we heard that wolves were in the area we consulted with conservation officers and let people know the kind of things they need to be doing,” said Colborne.

Zeballos residents have been issued directives to keep pets on a leash and inside during the night and also to be mindful while using trails for walks.

Conservation officer Brad Adams, said that they have been monitoring Zeballos for further developments, however, since the incident was reported there have been no further calls. Adams believes that the wolves attacked the dog in an act of territorial aggression.

He also said that conservation officers typically receive a very low number of calls for wolf sightings, making it the lowest wildlife conflict in North Island.

“This is the first call I received from Zeballos about wolves,” said Adams.

“Most wildlife don’t come into a community and attack pets unless there’s a reason and if this is a pattern, then it can be further understood when people call and report such wildlife sightings,” said Adams, adding that this attack was an isolated incident.

Residents have been provided with wildlife safety precautions if they do come in contact with wolves. This includes tips like not running away, trying to look big in front of the animal and avoid using headphones while walking on trails.

READ ALSO: Zeballos doesn’t expect to feel the pinch of COVID-19 restrictions until tourist season

READ ALSO: Evacuation order lifted for most of Zeballos, but five homes still affected

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