KENORA, Ont. — When Northern Development Minister Greg Rickford saw an animal in the distance on the highway south of Kenora, he quickly calculated it was a moment that needed to be caught on camera.
It turned out to be a dog, and their arrival on the scene proved to be fortunate timing for it.
Two large wolves were in the bush nearby, preparing to attack.
Rickford and staff member Ferg Devins didn't see the wolves until they lunged out of the woods and began a pursuit.
The dog, Devins said, began running for its life.
The incident happened Monday as he and Rickford were driving on Highway 71 between Sioux Narrows and Nestor Falls.
Devins said Rickford had initially told him "get the camera ready," but when they got closer they realized it was a situation that needed their intervention.
The predators were right on their quarry's heels.
"They were obviously big timber wolves...as the minister said, they were going to take down that dog," Devins said.
"Without a doubt," he said, their arrival saved the dog from a gruesome fate.
"We pulled up, honked the horn, and the dog came running towards us. The wolves took off back into the bush. I hopped out of the truck and the dog was hightailing it down this other road."
Devins said they've seen plenty of wildlife on their travels on northwestern Ontario roads, but this was their first close encounter with wolves.