Some of the magic gone with Rat Lake wolf

Cobble Hill – I rode my horses this past glorious weekend along the Haul Road in the Rat Lake area of Mill Bay. The sun was shining and the birds were chirping as my horses and dog enjoyed the trails.

But I was melancholy. As I scanned the bush looking past delicate new buds and bright skunk cabbage I knew I would not see what I have been hoping to see on my rides and dog walks over the last few months.

“Solo” the wolf is dead. Eliminated by conservation officers in the physical sense. But actually eliminated by ignorance and fear and media sensationalism.

The lone wolf did show himself to a lucky few riders and dog walkers but he displayed only curiosity, not aggression. Wolves do not prey on people and he did not even threaten livestock as far as I am aware. It cannot be said that he was too close to subdivisions as something else occurred first. We, the humans, encroached on his backyard before he ever entered ours.

I consider myself extremely fortunate to be a short walk or drive away from nature on this stunning island of ours. But be it mountain or meadow or marine, I hike aware of my impact on the environment as well as cognizant and respectful of the wildlife that live there.

We can still appreciated the opportunity to experience the richness of nature in our neighbourhoods but now some of the magic is gone. I will continue to enjoy my rides with my animals but somewhat dispirited as a presence is lacking.

So long Solo and thanks for being there for me, even though I never did see you.

Clare Tompkins

Cobble Hill