Frank Russ shows the bushes where the wolf, which attacked his father on May 29, appeared to be residing. The Conservation Officer Services is posted outside the Port Edward residence where the attack occurred. Patrols to find the wolf are continuing. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Conservation officers are continuing search efforts in Port Edward, to capture the wolf tied to the attack on a senior citizen late on Friday night (May 29).

“Multiple wolf sightings have since been reported, but CO’s believe only one wolf is behind the attack,” a media update, on May 31, from Conservation Office Service said.

Witnesses of the brazen wolf attack said they are frightened to go outside after the young animal was unrelenting in its assault and was not scared off.

Stanley Russ was attacked on May 29 while walking up the front steps of his neighbour’s house, to return next door to his home, after an evening visit.

READ MORE: UPDATED: Port Edward senior in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack requires surgery

According to Wanda Jackson, who has been staying at the house where the attack occurred, the wolf came out of the shrubbery next to the front pathway, adjacent to the residential street. She said it was very dark and the wolf attacked without any known motive as her friend walked past the bushes to his house.

Jackson said she heard screaming from outside and went to help. Russ was laying on the ground and had been dragged down the cement steps to the front steps to the lawn, she said.

Russ’s son, Frank Russ, was trying to ward off the wolf which kept circling and trying to attack while daughter-in-law Sylvia Russ and Jackson’s daughter, Miranda Moore, were attempting first aid.

“It was so scary. The wolf wouldn’t leave. It just kept coming in to attack,” Jackson said. “I am so traumatized. My heart keeps racing. Every-time I think of it I’m distraught. It looked like a shark attack from TV.”

Even with trying to throw sticks and rocks at the wolf, the animal was relentless, Frank Russ said. The wolf finally ran away after a neighbour turned on their vehicle alarm. There was no food or garbage left around to attract it, however there are lots of feral cats in the area, Russ said.

“There have been lots of wolf sighting previously, but never this close to the house,” Russ said.

Both Russ and Jackson said it looked like the wolf had been using under the bushes as a den, possibly for some time. They walk past the bushes every day to get to their vehicle and there have been no obvious signs of a wolf living under the bushes, until this incident. They want to cut the bushes down, however said they have been advised not to disturb the scene while the search is ongoing.

Moore, who also lives in the house where the attack occurred, said it frightening to go outside in the family community where neighbours like to sit outside in the their yards.

“I’m afraid because in the back there are bushes. We can’t be outside by ourselves. It’s just not safe anymore, especially for the children,” Moore said.

READ MORE: City to request conservation officer

Mother and daughter, Jackson and Moore are also concerned for the many elders living in Port Edward because not everyone has internet or social media to access the wolf warnings.

“Someone should be driving around issuing warnings. We are a small community where kids, pets, and Elders live. We need to be safe,” said Jackson.

Russ said the whole incident is just shocking. It is very hard on the family and on his father. Due to COVID-19 no-one was allowed into the hospital with the senior citizen, who has had to endure the emergency room, hospital stay and surgery by himself.

“There is too much damage to the leg,” Russ said of his fathers condition, on Saturday afternoon following the surgery, in Prince Rupert. “We will not be able to see him and he is being transported to Vancouver where more surgery is required.”


K-J Millar | Journalist
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