There are approximately 7000 wolves in Alberta. Wolves can live anywhere there is enough prey, a safe site to den and little interference from people.
Wolves are re-establishing themselves in a number of regions (such as the Cooking Lake-Blackfoot area) that they had previously been removed from.
Whenever you camp, hike, fish or hunt, there are a few simple steps you can take to prevent conflict with wolves:
- Keep your dog on a leash. It will be less likely to roam and attract the notice of a wolf (or other large predator). Wolves see domestic dogs as prey or as competition – either way, an off-leash dog can draw the attention of wolves if they are nearby. You will be better able to deter an approaching wolf if your dog is close to you, on leash and under control.
- People walking their dogs in an area where there are wolves are advised to keep their dogs on a leash – which is the law in Alberta Parks - and avoid walking their dogs through wooded areas at dawn, dusk and at night.
- When camping, prevent wolves from learning that humans are a source of food. Store all food, toiletries and garbage where wolves – and other wildlife – can’t reach it.
- Do not intentionally feed wolves. Nearly all wolf attacks on humans are the result of food-conditioning.
- Cook, wash dishes and store food at least 100m from where you sleep.
- Pack out all garbage and leftover food.
Wolves are wary of humans and will generally keep themselves hidden. Wolves that have been fed may approach camps, homes or people because they have lost their fear of humans.
If you do see a wolf:
- Leave it an escape route.
- Don’t approach the wolf, entice it to come closer or offer it food.
If the wolf approaches closer than 300 feet, or growls or snarls:
- Show the wolf that you are not easy prey. Make yourself look bigger by waving your arms over your head.
- Make noise and throw rocks, sticks or other objects at the wolf.
- Back away slowly, watching for a place of safety. Don’t turn your back on the wolf.
Report the encounter by calling your local Fish and Wildlife office at:
- Or, if after regular business hours, call the Report A Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800.
Updated: Oct 25, 2017