BC’s Environment Ministry says the Greater Vancouver Zoo, located in Aldergrove near the Township of Langley, asked for help Tuesday recapturing wolves that had escaped their enclosure.
The ministry said in a statement that the Conservation Officer Service was dispatched and one wolf remains unaccounted for.
In an update on its website shared Tuesday afternoon, the zoo said it was still working to capture “a small number of remaining wolves,” which the ministry says are in the zoo’s property but not in their enclosure.
The zoo, which announced it was closed on its Instagram and Facebook accounts Tuesday morning, has nine adult wolves and six cubs. It’s unclear how many wolves had escaped.
In a statement posted to its website, the Greater Vancouver Zoo said it asked police to look into what happened Tuesday, as the incident was deemed “suspicious, and believed to be due to a malicious intent.”
“Langley RCMP are investigating what appears to be unlawful entry and vandalism,” reads the statement.
Anyone who sees the wolf is encouraged to keep a safe distance and report the animal immediately to the Report all Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line at 1-877-952-7277.
The Vancouver Zoover has been the subject of controversy among animal rights located and had a number of safety issues over the past several years.
In August 2019, a young girl was airlifted to hospital after she was bitten by a black bear at the zoo.
That same year, advocacy group Zoocheck found animals at the zoo were suffering from a lack of enrichment.
In a report commissioned by the Vancouver Humane Society, the group found that the zoo was holding animals in enclosures whose size prevented them from engaging in natural behaviours, and called for an enrichment program to address the well-being of certain captive animals.
In 2020, the zoo announced a multi-million-dollar overhaul of the park, which the owners said would improve conditions.
But problems continued into the following year, when an employee was injured by a jaguar during feeding in December 2021.