June 18, 2013

"Banff motorcyclist pursued by ‘massive’ grey wolf along stretch of B.C. highway, takes pictures."

Tim Bartlett gives an interview. Excerpt:
Banff, of course, swells with thousands of European and Asian tourists each summer who would kill for this type of mystical “close encounter” with Canadian wildlife. Were you hit with any kind of “nature high” after the experience?

I’ve still got it. I’m having a hard time getting down to the ground, actually, and it was almost a week ago. You just feel so privileged. I mean, this is why I live in Banff. This happens and you just think “this is something totally off the charts.” It’s way more than I’d even hope to imagine. Just seeing a wolf is one thing, to have it run beside you and chase you is another thing altogether.

56 comments:

Scott M said...

What is Shaggy Dog doing so far south of the Wall?

John Lynch said...

I get chased by dogs on the road all the time.

It's not very spiritual.

traditionalguy said...

That is so Cub Scouty. Did he earn a wolf badge?

Where do they keep the adults in Canada?

LarsPorsena said...

Come on! We all know wolves don't eat people.

Old RPM Daddy said...

He'd have felt really, really privileged if the wolf had eaten him. Of course, then he wouldn't have been able to boast about it, or at least he'd be hard to hear.

John Lynch said...

I was stalked by a mountain lion once.

What I felt was not spiritual at all.

Curious George said...

"I’ve still got it. I’m having a hard time getting down to the ground, actually, and it was almost a week ago. "

That's the weed talking.

Clyde said...

We like to think that we are the apex predators on the planet. That's only if we are properly armed, of course. Without a high-powered weapon, we match up poorly against naturally-equipped creatures like bears, wolves, mountain lions, etc. And real life is not a cutesy animated Disney flick where the animals dance and sing.

Larry J said...

You know, there are times when you really should put down the camera (or cell phone) and look out for your own survival. There should be a special category in the Darwin Awards for those who got themselves killed because they were so intent on getting that really great shot.

Brian said...

Compared to *taking pictures while riding a motorcycle in traffic*, being chased by a single wolf is downright safe.

dbp said...

Almost became dog food. Super spiritual, that.

madAsHell said...

Don't wolves hunt in a pack?
Rabies?

ndspinelli said...

Banff and Lake Louise was one of our favorite trips. Fly into Calgary, nice city w/ great steaks, rent a car and see some of the most beautiful terrain in North America. There are some classic old hotels, one being a Fairmont in Banff, that are superb.

ndspinelli said...

Madashell, This is just the Omega wolf.

Mitchell the Bat said...

To do it right you need a snowy evening, a wedding party, several sledges, and a great many more wolves.

Pettifogger said...

The enlightened assure us that wolves are not dangerous to people. But that insight, such as it is, surely comes from behavior of wolves accustomed to armed and "unelightened" people. That's not a description of wolves today. I fear people will die before we figure out what our ancestors knew.

EDH said...

Was it the Buglar of Banf-f-f-f-f-f?

No, that was Paul Lynde.

Nonapod said...

A wolf running out into the road in the middle of the day and chasing a motorcycle like that may be indicative of an advanced case of rabies or canine distemper.

SJ said...

@madAsHell,
Don't wolves hunt in a pack?
Rabies?


I don't know what rabies would imply...but I've heard of a wolf-pack tactic that involves one member going away from the pack, and chasing the prey back to the pack at an ambush point.

The chaser wolf looks like they're operating alone. Until the prey meets the rest of the pack.

Of course, some wolves do leave their pack, and operate alone, until they find a suitable mate.

Freeman Hunt said...

Crossing Banff off of my family vacation list.

edutcher said...

Be glad it wasn't a troika.

EDH said...

Was it the Buglar of Banf-f-f-f-f-f?

No, that was Paul Lynde.


Of course, Corporal Agarn's French cousin was accused of being Ze Burglar of Banf-f-f-f-f-f.

(you da man!)

CatherineM said...

I worry about the wolf getting hit by a car.

Freeman Hunt said...

Wildlife, nice. Predatory wildlife, not nice. Predatory wildlife that will hunt humans in developed areas, no go.

bagoh20 said...

People are so selfish. The family in that car should have stopped and helped that lost doggie. At least pick him up and take him to a shelter where he might find a nice home where he would be fed and maybe even get to sleep in bed with the kids.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Banff is quite beautiful even if very touristy. I was at a conference a few years ago....insurance company sponsored for top sales people....and was stalked by an aggressive elk. Another lady at the conference and I decided to take a walk on a wooded path between the hotelThe Fairmont Springs (awesome place) and town. Unfortunately it was rutting season and a male elk took exception to our presence. Fortunately we were just about out of the wooded area and were able to scurry into the town. Not a spiritual experience at all!

bagoh20 said...

My dog and I were stalked by a very large coyote for about 20 minutes one day hiking in the mountains. It was kinda scary because my dog at the time was too small to defend himslef from this large professional killer. It stayed very close, only 20 yards away the whole time, and he was not spooked at all by me.

I finally stopped and showed him my Apex Predator I.D., and he apologized and went on his way, leaving me a pamphlet about how to prevent forest fires. He seemed like a nice guy, but had spooky eyes.

Paddy O said...

When I lived in the mountains, I once chased after a coyote through the forest, while barefoot. I felt very wild and free. That day I was NattyBumpp O.

He didn't seem scared, just really confused, kept looking back at me. Trotted at first, led me down the hill, across a street, back into the forest, then turned on the gas and lost me.

True story. We didn't want coyotes to feel comfortable around the house, so we usually yelled or ran towards them.

During winter, I went hiking and found myself in some relatively deep snow, up to my waist. Heard a coyote pack yapping on the other side of the hill. That time I made my way well away.

Aridog said...

ndspinelli said...

This is just the Omega wolf.

IMO, right on the money. Omega's frequently start play activity. In the photos shown I see no tail raised. No tail up means no aggression, and definitely not "hunting" or displaying dominance.
These are hunting wolves ...notice the tails.

PS: I have a great photo of the late Druid Pack in Yellowstone just dominance patrolling, in single file, their territory, the Lamar Valley east of Slough Creek, in Yellowstone...and every one of the 12 wolves in the photo has its tail elevated above the back line and extended.

A question in my mind is who domesticated who first...man with the wolf, or the wolf with man? I'd guess the wolf approach man first.

ndspinelli said...

DBQ, Just don't hike that path when you're having "your monthly visitor" And, staying @ the Fairmont Springs was a similar experience to staying @ the Hotel Del Coronado. Lot's of roaming tourists when you're just trying to have a quiet drink. Even a few elk in heat!

ndspinelli said...

Aridog, You know your canines, dude. Thanks for the great info.

ndspinelli said...

I was just talking out of my ass on the Omega thing.

Cedarford said...

Banff is the Canadian analogue to Yosemite. Their National Park "gem". Stunning place.

Clyde said...
We like to think that we are the apex predators on the planet. That's only if we are properly armed, of course. Without a high-powered weapon, we match up poorly against naturally-equipped creatures like bears, wolves, mountain lions, etc.

Actually, we became "apex" when we had that spear and arrow and fire business figured out. Several hundred extinct Megafauna testify to how bad ass we were even with 1/7000ths of the people on the planet we have today.

Now ecological studies on sustainability are showing we best shrink our numbers to 2-3 billion in order for ecosystem stability and supply can be sustainable given demand.
Fresh water and certain minerals appear limiting.


Aridog said...

Freeman Hunt said...

Predatory wildlife, not nice.

Humans are a predatory life form, how "wild" is a matter of debate.

Oh, and healthy wolves do not hunt humans, even if in stage 3 approach phase as described by L David Mech in his research.

Michael K said...

I was in Banff about 25 years ago. The ranger told me that a guy had been killed by a grizzly a couple of days before. The day after the incident, a reporter and photographer showed up and wanted to know where it happened. The grizzly hadn't been found yet and the ranger told them it wasn't safe to go up that trail. They went anyway. Guess what ? They found the grizzly. I can't remember if either of them survived.

Most stores had signs in Chinese.

Cedarford said...

John Lynch said...
I was stalked by a mountain lion once.

What I felt was not spiritual at all.

===============
In California in the early 90s, it was a little bit of a dilemma. Cougar and brown bear attacks happened, but you were banned from having or using firearms in Fed parks.
The joke about pepper spray was prevalent even back then. So we went in with an illegal .357, a friend packed a .45 Colt - but we had other options. Yeah, to save our lives, sure we would shoot, but still it would mean lawyers, huge money and a possible criminal record.
So I carried fireworks - a capped "20 foot high fountain with detonations" stick and a capped roman candle. With three strike anywhere match heads taped to the fuse surounding it so if one match failed, it was going to still light on demand, no fumbling around with a bear coming at you for that butane lighter that was tucked away in another backpack compartment.
All with a gun in the other hand, if the fireworks failed to scare off the cougar or bear.

As was, the only time the guns and fireworks came out was in the back area of San Bernadino going up a mountain trail with a steeo cliff on one side, steep face where the 4 foot wide trail was cut. Middle of no where. Huge fucking brown bear came round the switchback corner down at us on the trail. Sniffing the air. We somehow had no trouble climbing as a group of 4 30 feet up the face. Bear stopped and was sniffing at us below. Sat there for 7-8 minutes, then ambled away.
A friend had a cougar stalking his family in the same area. Pretty creepy - they were taking a break when they noticed the female come out of the woods, cross the trail they had come on, double back on the trail noticing the scent (dog was with them or the human smell was appetizing by itself). Cougar flattened down, and was moving down the trail fast.
They all made noise and scared it off.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

When I was in Banff for my conference, I tried to find something "Canadian" to bring back as souveniers for my friends and family. Good luck.

Everything WAS made in China or overseas. I finally found some little bottles of Canadian Maple Syrup and bought some good imported bottles of single malt scotch. Other than some VERY pricy art work or sculptures, there was hardly anything in Banff that was actually from Canada.

Roger J. said...

As a ten trip wilderness canoeist in northern Saskatchewan, I always realize that I am now on the second rung of the food chain. I have heard more wolves than I have seen--biggest problem are black bears, particularly sows with cubs.

I love the wilderness, but if you are unprepared then wilderness can be a dangerous place.

Tibore said...

Well, it was cool because big, badass wolves are always cool. But I'm struggling to make anything out of this that's more than just "random wildlife encounter".

I "encountered" a deer a few years back with the hood of my car, but you don't see my local paper or any regional bloggers pimpin' my experience as demonstrating why life here is supposedly so "privileged". I equate this with the same level of interest that my workplace had when a little fawn - really little; it's body couldn't have been bigger than a large cat's - decided to nest up in some tall grass right next to our building. Productivity hit a brick wall as everyone lined the picture window (lil fella chose the right spot) with their cellphone cameras and started snapping away. It wasn't as exciting as being chased by a wolf, but the cuteness factor damn near sent an entire department into a collective "D'awwwwwwwww!" swoon. ;)

viator said...

There seems to be a wolf renaissance..

"Wolf attacks lead to state of emergency in Russia's Siberia region"

UK Telegraph

And buried in the article is this little gem.

"...but others have suggested unusually harsh winters could have played a role."

ken in sc said...

When people say that bears, wolves, or mountain lions are not a threat to humans, I think they are thinking in ecological terms. The animals cannot eat enough of us to make a dint in our population, therefore no threat.

Methadras said...

Banff has been totally taken over by the euro-asian douchebags. Fucking idiots. I stopped going there years ago because of it. Place used to be great for the skiing/snowboarding and seclusion. Now, it's like Mammoth Mountain.

Methadras said...

John Lynch said...

I was stalked by a mountain lion once.

What I felt was not spiritual at all.


Out in the wilds of Eastern San Diego county, we have mountain lions show up from time to time. Out where I live, we have all kinds of wildlife and we are in the mountain lions range, so I see them up skulking around through my binocs from time to time.

exhelodrvr1 said...

I had a similar experience with a coyote once, while riding my bicycle just about sunrise. Not sure if I startled him, or if he was sizing me up for breakfast.

John Scott said...

As a hang glider pilot it's not uncommon to soar with raptors. Here in California it's mostly redtail hawks. However one time I was turning circles in light lift at the southern end of the Sierras when I felt a presence. I looked around to find a very big golden eagle less than 10 feet off of my keel. I figured he'd just have a look and go on his merry way and so I just continued working the lift. After a 500 foot or so gain in altitude he was still 10 feet off my keel. The experience was both exciting and unnerving -- a golden eagle's talons can do a lot of damage to a hang glider's sail. In the end I decide to leave the area and the lift rather than continue to communing with nature.

Kelly said...

My neighbors beagle was eaten by coyotes. I don't think the little kids who found the remains of their doggy felt very spiritual about it, but I didn't ask.

Michael K said...

When I lived in the mountains, my basset would chase coyotes. I always called him back because, while he was big enough to handle a coyote, there might be a pack around the bend. Coyotes are smart and will sometimes use a female in heat to lure a dog into an ambush.

Jeff Teal said...

Came out of the Shoppette at Fort Irwin one night to be facing a large (15--20) pack of coyotes.Several other soldiers and family members came out wnd we all sat around watching each other till the canis latrans moved off.Humans together even without weapons are afrually pretty successful predators..

ndspinelli said...

Kelly, "The dingoes ate your neighbor's beagle."

Paul Ciotti said...

bagoh20: I finally stopped and showed him my Apex Predator I.D., and he apologized and went on his way, leaving me a pamphlet about how to prevent forest fires.

That's genuinely funny.

viator said...

Nice wolfie, nice wolfie, with a little dominance thrown in..

YouTube

Skyler said...

That's nothing. When I was much younger and a minute faster in my mile pace I was running along Aliso Creek in Orange County and a pack of coyotes joined me. I was already running as fast as I could and I couldn't see a rock or stick to pick up if the need arose. There were about ten all around me, the closest about ten yards away, with his tongue hanging out and eyeballing me the whole way.

Fortunately, my path went back to the road and the canids continued on their merry way without me.

So being on a motorcycle that can easily outpace a wolf is a much better position to be in.

Michael said...

As I have noted on other, similar, posts, I am delighted by man/animal confrontations where the animal wins and the man is disabused of his one-ness with the animal. Whether it be bear, dolphin, whale or wolf it should be noted that a.)they do not understand English, b.)they do not love or affirm humans in any way and c)they often find humans tasty.

Now the wolf in question appears to enjoy the chase. Assuming the pics are not photoshopped and the story invented by the biker;stoner

Skyler said...

"I am delighted by man/animal confrontations where the animal wins"

And that is the very definition of misanthropy.

Crunchy Frog said...

We'd get a few deer wander down out of the foothills onto the JPL campus every now and then on damp mornings. I guess they liked to munch on the landscaping...

Titus said...

I love wildlife in the wild.

I hate zoos though-those animals look depressed.

rcocean said...

I've run into dangerous animals, alone in the wild, and it isn't "spiritual" - its damn scary.