Large canine reported in the Valley

There has been a large canine in the Valley:

We were hiking in the woods (mid-day) with our dog and headed up toward the deeper clearing (field), at the far side, behind the monastery. We made our through a narrow path in the field where there was notable compressions in the grass from where deer had been lying in great numbers. As we approached halfway through the field toward the monastery, we looked to our left and about 4 meters from us was very large canine animal. It stopped in its tracks and we locked eyes with the animal. I clapped my hands as loudly as I could and it retreated back about 20meters. We were both very startled and watched the animal to ensure it didn’t follow us. It watched us very closely from that distance until we lost sight of it. This animal was not a coyote; it was well over 100-150lbs, bigger than Rottweiler or Sheppard I have seen, and had a wide skull. Upon researching the internet I came across at least 3 other wolf sightings in the North West area in recent time. It is our belief, after looking at pictures online as well, that the animal we observed was in fact a wolf or perhaps a very large coywolf. We think it’s important that we share this information with the community as the trail is often very busy and people frequent it with young children and dogs. Please feel free to send this out.

The city has a web site that discussed urban wildlife

http://www.london.ca/residents/Environment/Natural-Environments/Pages/Urban-Wildlife.aspx

Sightings such as these are becoming more usual but it important to report them. You can call 911 if you feel threatened. Warning signs will be posted at Medway access points over the fall/winter to be completed by spring.

It is also important to keep your dog on leash and for you to stay on the marked (yellow markings on trees and posts) trails. There are a couple of reasons. One is that not everyone likes dogs, even friendly ones. You also don’t want your dog to meet up with a wild canine. The other reason is that the Medway is an Environmentally Significant Area. The marked trails avoid areas of sensitive plant species and birds that do not nest in trees. By going off trail or where the trail has been closed for safety or letting a dog run loose, we can trample and/or spread non-native plants and disrupt the natural processes.

Click here for more information about the Medway and the marked trails. You will note that the eastern part of the Valley is University property.

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