Tranquilized Victoria wolf could be Takaya, who was featured on CBC's The Nature of Things

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      There are approximately 250 wolves on Vancouver Island and normally, they don't travel farther south than Sooke.

      But this past weekend, a healthy, older adult male was spotted roaming around the densely populated Victoria neighbourhood of James Bay, not far from the Parliament Buildings.

      On Sunday (January 26) evening, it was tranquilized by the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, which says the animal will be assessed by a provincial veterinarian today.

      The Times Colonist has reported that it may be Takaya, a lone wolf spotted in the past on Chatham Island and Discovery Island, which are near Victoria.

      According to wildlife photogapher Cheryl Alexander, Takaya has been known to swim in powerful currents.

      Alexander has videotaped more than 1,000 hours of Takaya's life.

      She told the Times Colonist that the tranquilized wolf's markings are similar to Takaya's.

      He the subject of a documentary last year on CBC Television's The Nature of Things. (See below.)

      Video: Watch this video of Takaya, whose life has been documented by photographer Cheryl Alexander.

      Takaya lives a solitary existence, even though most wolves live in packs.

      He's also survived in a marine environment on islands without lakes and rivers.


      The B.C. Conservation Officer Service tweeted that the wolf has been released on the west side of Vancouver Island.

      "The mature male wolf was assessed by the provincial wildlife veterinarian on Monday morning," it wrote on its Facebook page. "The wolf had no apparent injuries, was in good body condition and was considered healthy and suitable for release.

      "The wolf had not shown any aggression towards people while it was roaming the Victoria neighbourhood over the weekend. Although Conservation Officers believe the wolf swam to the capital, it is not being released on Discovery Island as it left for a reason—the wolf was looking for food or resources, and for the safety of the public and the animal, it was relocated out of the urban environment.

      "The Conservation Officer Service recognizes the public’s care and concern for the well-being of the wolf. A similar coastal habitat was carefully chosen, in consultation with biologists, to give the wolf the best chance possible."