Wolverine caught: councillor not impressed by media coverage

One wolverine was caught in Kitimat early August 18 on the heels of an internationally-spread conversation about the animals in Kitimat.

One wolverine was caught in Kitimat early August 18 on the heels of an internationally-spread conversation about the animals in Kitimat.

The wolverine caught in the trap set near Meldrum Street just after 12 a.m. last Thursday weighed about 9 kilograms and from head to tail it looked to be about 0.9 metres, said an RCMP officer who saw the animal.

“It’s not a five-foot monster,” said RCMP Cpl. Darryl Peppler, explaining that conservation officers were on their way to relocate the animal when he met them for a look at it. “The trap is moved because that’s how they’re going to transport it.”

“I guess we’ve got only 3/4 of the problem that we had before,” said mayor Joanne Monaghan, who in recent weeks has spoken to national media about wolverines in Kitimat.

The story most recently made its way to Turkey, and has been the subject matter of many articles and editorials Canada-wide.

And while Monaghan said she reached out with the intention of putting pressure on conservation officers to trap the animals, afraid a child would be injured or killed if the issue wasn’t dealt with, councillor Gerd Gottschling was less than impressed with the media attention received and said so at last week’s city council meeting.

He said that associating the wolverine with Kitimat’s image works against the city’s efforts and money spent to promote itself as a safe retirement community.

He also urged residents to keep their cats indoors.

“As long as we allow our pets to be in danger… we’ll continue to have the same problems that we did with bears (and garbage being left outside.)”

Councillor Bob Corless added that Kitimat is, after all, situated  in the wilderness amongst a lot of wildlife.

And according to councillor Randy Halyk, who spoke at council, animals are something to be celebrated.

“I think we should praise the critters,” he said. “They’re part of the ecology of living.”

Responsible pet ownership is a factor  in the wolverine-cat equation to him.

And part of being a responsible pet-owner means micro-chipping pets, he said.

After this, Monaghan joked that perhaps the already-existing microchips in missing cats could be used to track down the wolverines’ den, as the chips might remain in cat carcasses or wolverine droppings.

Shortly after, council realized that although they were talking about wolverines, no motion had been put forward in council about wolverines  and so their conversation concluded.