Famous lone wolf Staqeya remembered through life-sized sculpture

Remembering the lone wolf

Victoria is celebrating the one year anniversary of the famous lone wolf ‘Staqeya’ coming to the island.

The wolf garnered attention from island residents through numerous sightings and encounters. This prompted efforts from police and conservation officers to track down and capture it, according to CTV News Vancouver Island.

Staqeya, also known as Takaya, became famous through documentaries, photos, books, social media and news outlets. He caught national attention after thriving alone on a small and remote island off of Victoria’s coast.

In recognition of the one-year anniversary of Staqeya coming to Victoria, artist Ian Lowe has created a life-sized stainless steel sculpture of the wolf which has been installed on Discovery Island.

Lowe created the sculpture that depicts the wolf running. It has been placed in the rocks overtop of the shoreline, allowing boaters to view it as they pass by.

Following two days of wolf sightings, Staqeya was caught and tranquillized in James Bay. He was then released days later in undisclosed area on Vancouver Island.

After two months, the wolf was hunted and killed near Shawnigan Lake by a licensed hunter.

Staqeya caught the hearts of conservation photographer and documentarian Cheryl Alexander and mural artist Paul Archer, who travelled to Discovery Island over the weekend to prepare and install the life-sized sculpture.

During this time, Archer signed a large mural he created of Staqeya which was painted on the side of a building in June 2020.

“From a distance, it almost looks like Takaya; like I would have seen him moving along the shore,” Alexander told CTV, who spent years photographing and documenting him.

“It’s going to be a very powerful piece and a reminder of the life that this wolf lived out in these islands that was really pretty incredible.”

For Alexander, this is positive and she hopes Staqeya opens peoples eyes to wolves as a whole.

“That legacy is that we look at what we are currently doing in our relationship with wild animals, particularity wolves, and that we examine some of the regulatory structures that allow wolves to be killed for no specific reason at all,” she said. “Just for recreational purposes, so I want to change those regulations.”

As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, Alexander hopes people will find inspiration from Staqeya’s story.

“He was a wolf that was isolated from his kind for most of his life,” she said. “He managed, he was resilient, he had courage, he was strong, he knew he could make it on his own and I think we should take away some really significant lessons from that as a COVID lesson.”

Click here to learn more about Staqeya.

-With files from CTV News Vancouver Island

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