Friday June 10, 2016

Saving wolves by teaching fear: Parks Canada's Bill Hunt explains shooting of wolf

Parks Canada officials have euthanized a wolf in Banff

Parks Canada officials have euthanized a wolf in Banff (Dawn Villella/Associated Press)

Listen 25:26

Read story transcript

On Tuesday June 7,  a female wolf was killed by conservation officials in Banff National Park,  but many are placing blame on the behaviour of park visitors. 

This drastic action was taken after the wolf had several interactions with people, including one instance where she stole food from a cooler in broad daylight, scaring campers and sending them racing for their cars.

Aggressive wolves are increasingly becoming a problem in parks across Canada, and Bill Hunt, a resource conservation manager for Banff National Park, argues this is largely due to visitors leaving food behind and failing to respect boundaries. 

'As soon as animals start approaching people looking for food it can lead to them being dangerously aggressive and assertive.' -Bill Hunt, a resource conservation manager for Banff National Park

The Current discusses the rise of wolf encounters, and what measures should be taken to mediate this problem. 

  • Kevin Van Tighem, former Banff Park superintendent.
  • Bill Hunt, resource conservation manager for Banff National Park.
  • Scott Lilwall had an encounter with an aggressive wolf, fleeing the scene in a stranger's car. 

Have you had a close interaction with a wolf?

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This segment was produced by The Current's Suzanne Dufresne and Michael O'Halloran