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Wolf enclosure was damaged to let animals escape at Greater Vancouver Zoo, RCMP say

Zoo had nine adult grey wolves and six cubs, but it has not confirmed how many got loose or remain unaccounted for.
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The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police "E" Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

LANGLEY, B.C. — Police say the wolf enclosure at the Greater Vancouver Zoo was damaged by someone who is suspected to have broken into the facility and allowed the animals to escape, as the facility remains shut for a second day.  

There were nine adult grey wolves and six cubs at the zoo in Aldergrove, but it has not confirmed how many got loose or remain unaccounted for, as conservation workers and zoo staff continue to search for any of the animals.

The zoo first announced without explanation that it was closed Tuesday morning via its Instagram and Facebook accounts, and says today it remains shut.

When it announced the escape in a statement Tuesday afternoon, the zoo said it suspected "malicious intent," and that a "small number" of wolves were loose. 

It said there was no danger to the public, and it was working with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service to "contain" the animals.

Cpl. Holly Largy says Langley RCMP are investigating what appears to be a case of unlawful entry and vandalism that involved damage to the wolves' enclosure. 

"The RCMP is investigating the break and enter and the mischief to the zoo," Largy said in an interview Wednesday. 

"I can just tell you that there was damage done to the enclosure to allow the wolves to exit. At this point there's there's no surveillance, so we don't have any information to indicate how they got in or suspect information."

The Environment Ministry, which said Tuesday that one wolf was on the loose but has not provided an update, says anyone who sees a wolf should keep their distance and report it by calling 1-877-952-7277.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 17, 2022.

The Canadian Press