The Newfoundland Wolf is Back

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In May 2012 Joe Fleming from Bonavista Newfoundland shocked the world when he posed in a photo with an 82 pound animal he killed with his rifle on the Bonavista Peninsula. Joe had thought the animal was a coyote but at closer inspection, he believed it was actually a wolf. Later the animals DNA was analysed and sure enough, it was a wolf.

People have been saying wolves in Newfoundland have been extinct for around 100 years, claiming the last known sighting to have been anywhere between 1911 and 1930, but is that really true? A quick wiki search will tell you the Newfoundland wolf (a subspecies of the grey wolf) is long gone and that the only canine on the island is the coyote, which was recently introduced. But things are not always as they seem, and just like it was thought the black bear had long left Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula (there were three sightings in the summer of 2018 of black nears on the Avalon) the wolf may not have gone anywhere.

Handy Dandy Link: Wiki Article

In May 2012 Joe Fleming from Bonavista Newfoundland shocked the world when he posed in a photo with an 82 pound animal he killed with his rifle on the Bonavista Peninsula. Joe had thought the animal was a coyote but at closer inspection, he believed it was actually a wolf. Later the animals DNA was analysed and sure enough, it was a wolf. The Newfoundland Department of Environment and Conservation weighed in on the subject in a news release, saying they’re unsure how the wolf ended up on the island of Newfoundland but suspected it may have crossed the frozen Labrador straight ice, which is a common way other mammals, like polar bears, to make their way to the island portion of the Province each spring. The ministry considered it to be a rare event and brushed the sighting off to a single incident, but that wasn’t the end of wolf sightings.

Handy Dandy Link: CBC Article confirming DNA Results

Strangely enough, on January 20, 2019 there was a total lunar eclipse which was referred to as the Super Wolf Blood Moon. On that day, from North America, the moon was high in the sky and the totality of the eclipse lasted just over one hour. We’re not saying these events are related, but a few days later on January 25, Kurt Payne and his wife Andrea Payne from Sandy Point, Newfoundland stated they saw several wolves their doorstep in the early morning. While they were not able to get clear images of the animals on their cameras, Kurt and Andrea are both sure what they saw were wolves. What’s even more interesting is that if anyone should be able to tell the difference between wolves and coyotes it’s Kurt and Andrea Payne. They both spend time researching wolves and have even spent time on a wolf sanctuary, so when Kurt says he’s sure what he saw was a wolf coming towards him across the frozen Exploits River in Central Newfoundland, his statement carries some weight.

If you come across a wild animal, do you know what to do? Do you know when you should run, when you should stand your ground, and how to best live to tell your story? Not all animals behave the same, but several rules are true across the board. All animals have personal space that, when you invade, may make the animal trigger a fight-or-flight response. With predators, running will make you look like food but standing your ground will often make them think twice about an attack. Want to learn more about how to deal with an animal encounter and how to stay safe in bear, wolf, and coyote country? Be sure to check out our NEWFOUNDLAND BEAR AWARE and NEWFOUNDLAND WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS posts.

What do you think? Is the Newfoundland Wolf Back? Was it ever really gone? Post in the comments below and let us know what you think.

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