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'Beautiful to see': B.C. woman encounters swimming wolf

"It was a strong swimmer," says Maxine Caroline Gillette.

A B.C. woman was on a boat at the right time and managed to see a wolf swimming near Kyuquot Sound off the coast of Vancouver Island.

Maxine Caroline Gillette was conducting environmental monitoring as part of a guardianship program on Sunday at about 4:30 p.m. when she spotted the animal and knew it was a wolf right away.

"It was a strong swimmer,” she says. 

Gillette has seen wolves before but never one swimming.

“[It was] beautiful to see and experience even as a stewardship officer. I'm out on our land a lot,” says Gillette.

The wolf appeared to be heading towards Union Island and was quite a distance from land.

"We drove around it really slow, and it was pretty calm,” she says.

Video filmed by Gillette shows the wolf swimming near the boat and their dog reacting with a bark.

This isn’t the first Vancouver Coastal sea wolf to be seen swimming in the ocean. Back in January 2020, a lone wolf was living on a small remote island off Victoria Staqeya, well known as Takaya, lived on Discovery Island and was first noticed by the Songhees First Nation on their reserve land years earlier.

Staqeya swam across strong currents from Discovery Island to Victoria and was spotted by people living in James Bay. The wolf was relocated and released into the wild near Port Renfrew but was tragically shot a short time later by a hunter.