(Screenshot / Sandra Riches Facebook)

A Vancouver resident was in for a treat when she stopped by the island and encountered a wild Coastal wolf in Tofino last week.

Coastal wolves are notoriously shy animals that tend to avoid human contact, which makes this meeting even more special.

The encounter was captured last Wednesday when Sandra Riches was visiting the area’s MacKenzie Beach. “I met a Tofino local this morning!” her Facebook post says.

Check it out:

Threatened creatures

While Coast wolves are at the top of the food chain, the species faces a wide range of challenges. Human-caused habitat loss and government sanctioned wolf killings reduced the Coastal wolf population to less than 150 on Vancouver Island in 2008, according to the University of Victoria.

Unlike their closest relatives, Grey wolves, Coastal wolves can often be found swimming, hunting, and scavenging on beaches. While the wolves will happily munch on meat, up to 90% of their regular diet is seafood.

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