Fisheries and Land Resources
January 10, 2018

Public Advisory: Unsecured Food and Dumping of Garbage Increase Wolf Sightings in Happy Valley-Goose Bay

Officials with Fisheries and Land Resources confirm that unsecured food, including the dumping of garbage, has been drawing wolves in and around Happy-Valley Goose Bay. Wolf observations in the community have increased in recent months, with most occurring in the east end.

Residents are reminded that unsecured food and dumping of garbage are typically the root cause of wildlife conflicts in human populated areas. There are also existing prohibitions on the dumping of garbage in all areas outside of designated municipal waste disposal facilities.

Wolves can sometimes pose a risk to pets, particularly dogs. Pet owners, especially those living adjacent to wooded areas, are advised to protect their animals by:

  • Ensuring there are no food attractants for wildlife; and
  • Keeping pets within fenced yards, and dogs on a leash or under close supervision while off leash in public areas.

In the event of encountering a wolf that closely approaches, the following general precautions should be taken:

  • Stay calm;
  • Give the animal space and avoid restricting its options to depart the scene;
  • Avoid direct eye contact, and
  • Back away slowly while facing the animal – never run.

In more rare circumstances, wildlife afflicted with rabies can sometimes exhibit irrational aggression towards people, and may also show excessive salivation and or stumbling. If such behaviours are encountered, additional efforts to ensure avoidance of contact may be necessary, such as use of a tree branch or any other available materials to help maintain separation. There have been no confirmed cases of rabies in Labrador wolves this year.

Anyone observing a wolf demonstrating fearlessness towards people or other forms of aggressive or abnormal behavior should call the 24-hour emergency line at 709-897-7116.

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Media contact
Connie Boland
Fisheries and Land Resources
709-637-2923, 640-6409


2018 01 10                                                    5:00 p.m.