HARVEY HUMCHITT JR. PHOTO                                A screenshot from the YouTube video of a wolf encounter Harvey Humchitt Jr. filmed in 2013.

HARVEY HUMCHITT JR. PHOTO A screenshot from the YouTube video of a wolf encounter Harvey Humchitt Jr. filmed in 2013.

Island lighthouse keeper chased by wolf

He now has some important advice for anyone else caught in a similar situation

Cape Scott Provincial Park, on the northern tip of Vancouver Island, is known for its sandy beaches and old-growth rainforest, but it’s also a place where it’s not uncommon to spot a wolf.

Harvey Humchitt Jr. was born and raised on the coast in Bella Bella and has been working as the Cape Scott Lighthouse Keeper for 18 years, and also has been with the Coast Guard for over 25. Throughout his extensive career working on the coast in remote locations, this first week of December was the only time in his life that Humchitt Jr. has ever been chased by a wolf.

“I’d just left the radio room and I was on my way to check my fuel – along the way I heard a rustling in the brush and I turned my flashlight toward the sound and out lunges this really young wolf,” said Humchitt Jr., in an interview with the Gazette.

He immediately saw that the gate was open and ran back towards the house, when the wolf gave chase.

“It caught up to me when I got to the gate – it was close enough to take a bite and it did, three snaps,” said Humchitt Jr, adding, “In all my years I’ve never ever heard of a wolf giving chase to a person before.”

After making it inside the house just in time, the reality of the situation hit him. “I think every single one of my senses were 100 per cent in operation and my adrenaline was really high. I could feel my heart just racing,” said Humchitt Jr., adding, “When I got in the house the fear hit me, and I realized how close I was to getting bitten by a wolf.”

Humchitt Jr. has seen many wolves before at the light station, but mostly they are just passing through and he’s spotted them from a safe distance. He even filmed a clip of a wolf visit a few years ago and put it up on his YouTube channel.

However, after the encounter, he did some research and checked in with some wolf specialists and learned he was actually at fault for the near attack.

“My action of running caused the wolf to give chase, because wolves are called course hunters meaning they kill their prey on the run, so if I stopped running and faced the wolf and started walking backward I wouldn’t have been chased by the wolf any longer,” he explained.

Humchitt Jr. said since the experience he has learned that the proper thing to do if you come face to face with a wolf is stand your ground and make yourself really big.

If you have a jacket, unzip it and flip it up over your head to make yourself look bigger than normal and then back away slowly.

As a last resort, the best thing to do is curl into a ball and protect all of your vital organs and hope the wolf backs off.

“It was one of the things that made me think that when they say these creatures out in the wild are unpredictable they really mean it – they’re unpredictable,” he said.

Humchitt Jr. added he hopes that his experience will help educate people, rather than deter them from visiting Cape Scott. He stated he wants “everybody to enjoy their experience at Cape Scott, it is such a beautiful park – there has never been an attack on a human reported at Cape Scott and we are lucky that way.”

Just Posted

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Saltair man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

(File photo)
Poverty reduction survey identifies 10 poverty themes

Poverty reduction plan will be finalized in July 2021

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly says he has no intentions of leaving the Green Party. (House of Commons image)
Island Green MPs have “no intention” of leaving the party after ‘heartbreaking’ departure

Manly, May only remaining Green MPs after Jenica Atwin left for the Liberals over internal disputes

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

CVSAR search the Puntledge River following a report of an abandoned kayak. Photo, CVSAR Facebook page
Comox Valley Search and Rescue spends four hours searching for no one

Overturned kayak a reminder for public to contact officials if they have to abandon a watercraft

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers tested more than 230 commonly used cosmetics and found that 56% of foundations and eye products, 48% of lip products and 47% of mascaras contained high levels of fluorine

White Rock’s Marine Drive has been converted to one-way traffic to allow more patio space for waterfront restaurants. (Peace Arch News)
Province promotes permanent pub patios in B.C. post-pandemic plan

More than 2,000 temporary expansions from COVID-19 rules

Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus students Ethan Reid, from left, Brenden Higgins, Ty Oviatt, Kaleb Alphonse, Nathan Kendrick and Landon Brink with RCMP officers Const. Nicoll and Const. Stancec. (Photo submitted)
RCMP thank 6 teens for helping prevent forest fire in Williams Lake

The students came across fire in a wooded area and used the water they had to try and extinguish the flames

There is an emergency shelter near the Golden Ears peaks. (Facebook/Special to The News)
Hiker fogged in on Golden Ears, spends 2 nights

Talon Helicopters, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue bring him home Monday

Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre has embarked on a fundraising campaign, seeking to raise $1 million for establishment of an independent urban Indigenous school. Pictured here, Tsawalk Learning Centre students at an Orange Shirt Day event in September. (Submitted photo)
Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre looks to raise $1 million for urban Indigenous school

Centre says independent school would be first of its kind in B.C.

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Most Read