For the 2021 Read + Seed sponsorship, the chosen organization is Pacific Wild, which has a fund created in honour of the wolf Takaya, to uphold his legacy and to continue to work towards wolf conservation in BC. Takaya was a well-known, beloved wolf who lived off the coast of Vancouver Island for eight years. The muse of photographer Cheryl Alexander, he was also the subject of a CBC documentary on The Nature of Things.
To watch a preview of the CBC documentary, click here.
In late January 2020, Takaya was relocated to a remote location on the west coast of the Island in the hopes that he would thrive there in safety after drawing attention to himself by wandering towards more populated areas on Vancouver Island, likely in search of a more reliable food source. Tragically, a few months later—in March 2020—he was killed by a hunter near Shawnigan Lake. His death unleashed a tsunami of outrage and grief by Island residents, animal lovers, and conservationists—and inspired creative fundraising and community-building initiatives as shown on Instagram under #ArtForTakaya.
Read + Co’s founder, Heather Read, was one of many who were deeply moved by the tale of Takaya’s life and death. After her colleague Don Gorman (publisher of Rocky Mountain Books) shared Takaya’s story with his sales presentation of Cheryl Alexander’s books Takaya: Lone Wolf, and her children’s books Good Morning Takaya and Takaya’s Journey, Heather was moved to help the wolves in BC by supporting them through Pacific Wild’s education and legal program. This program endeavours to protect BC’s wolves and to stop the wolf cull that has killed over one thousand animals. Heather invites booksellers and book lovers alike to consider the story of Takaya’s life and legacy, and to consider supporting Pacific Wild’s important work.