Beloved Lone Wolf From BBC Documentary Killed By Hunter
The beloved lone wolf Takaya has been killed by a hunter after becoming the focus of a BBC documentary.
Takaya: Lone Wolf aired in December last year and told the story of renowned wildlife photographer Cheryl Alexander and her seven-year-long mission to discover how Takaya came to be on a small, uninhabited archipelago named Discovery Island just off the coast of British Columbia, Canada.
The wild creature journeyed from Victoria, a city on Canada’s west coast, across nearly 25 miles of urban sprawl until he reached the south-east tip of Vancouver Island. From there, Takaya swam nearly two miles towards the scattering of tiny islands near the city.
Takaya became legendary and garnered fans around the world who were in awe of his resilience, but tragically was shot and killed on March 24.
Earlier this year, Takaya ventured away from the island and swam back towards the city, where police later sedated him before releasing him along the west coast of Vancouver Island. In the weeks before his death he was spotted more frequently by locals, and ultimately he was shot and killed by a hunter near Shawnigan Lake, the Vancouver Sun reports.
British Columbia’s conservation agency commented on the loss of the wolf, saying:
We understand many British Columbians and people around the world shared care and concern for the well-being of this wolf and this update will affect many people.
The agency has said it is investigating the death.
Wildlife photographer Alexander was notified of Takaya’s death on March 25 from a friend who has connections to the hunter. She knew it was Takaya after learning the number found on his yellow ear-tag.
In response to the death, Alexander said she’s ‘fluctuating between absolute rage … and this intense sorrow that this remarkable wolf’s life has ended in such a senseless way’, CBC News reports.
I feel empathy for the person who shot him. [They] couldn’t have known that people all over the world were loving this wolf and following his life, and finding inspiration and hope in this wolf.
Chris Genovali, executive director of the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, said Takaya’s death is representative of a much larger problem.
The senseless trophy killing of Takaya, the iconic ‘lone wolf’ made famous by his stay on Discovery Island, once again brings to the fore the full-spectrum persecution of Canis lupus (wolves) in British Columbia.
Though Genovali suggests Takaya was killed by a trophy hunter, the British Columbia Conservation Office Service could only confirm Takaya was killed by a hunter.
Alexander hopes Takaya’s death will come as a ‘wake-up call’ for ‘entitled’ hunters who kill for fun, and the British Columbia laws that allow them to do so. She believes the wolf will leave behind a ‘huge legacy’.
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