Gunshots reported with wolf sightings

Go ahead and cry Wolf, but leave the guns out of it.

The Tofino RCMP are encouraging every Tofitian to have a plan in place in case their family comes into contact with a wolf but this plan should not include a firearm.

A concerned citizen attended the Tofino detachment on March 10 to voice concerns over gunshots that have allegedly been heard within Tofino and are rumoured to be related to recent wolf sightings in the community.

“It is understandable that confrontations with wild animals are unusual and frightening,” said Sgt. James Anderson. “Due to where we live, all property owners should have a contingency plan if a wolf or other wild animal comes onto your property and confronts a human or that human’s pet.”

He said this plan should include barricading yourself, your family and all pets before calling 911 but firearms should be left out of the equation.

“If the home owner’s contingency plan involves a firearm, this action is not recommended and can have consequences,” Anderson said. “Within the District of Tofino, the discharge of firearms is prohibited.”

Section 86 of Canada’s criminal code includes language prohibiting anyone from carrying, handling, or storing a firearm or ammunition in a careless manner or without taking reasonable precautions for the safety of others.

“Not only must a firearm’s owner have a valid Possession and Acquisition Firearms License, discharging of the firearm resulting in carelessness, regardless if the owner of the firearm has good intentions, will result in a criminal investigation,” Anderson said. “Besides the criminal aspect of carelessness, factor in the possible civil law aspect of such carelessness which could result in a lawsuit against the firearm’s owner.” See www.bcconservationofficer. org for tips on how to deal with predators. Locals should report predator sightings to 1-877-952-7277, he said. RCMP can respond to emergencies regarding aggressive animals in Tofino but the CO are the experts, he said.

reporter@westerlynews.ca