Banff's elk kicked out of town

The town of Banff decided it was time to take decisive action against the kind of problem most Canadian cities will never experience -- wild elk roaming the streets day and night looking for food.

Residents have done what they can to protect their properties from the marauding animals that arrive in town from nearby Banff National Park. There are fences around trees and wire mesh covering bushes. But what concerns most people is that the elk sometimes attack.

"They sometimes go up on their hind legs and come down on their front legs to actually tackle you down to the ground....It's come to the point where I had to hide behind trees and the elk was right on the other side," said Banff resident Reno Sommerhalder.

Last year, more than 100 people were attacked by elk. This year, Parks Canada decided one way to curb the problem was to round-up of some of Banff's 500-strong elk population and ship them out.

Park officials built a giant pen and added hay to lure the animals inside. Once the elk enter the trap they can't get out. The animals are checked for disease and, as part of a new government project, are sent to less populated places.

Some of the elk will be sent to Kootenay National Park in British Columbia, the rest to wilderness areas in Alberta such as Ram River Falls in the Foothills and Saskatchewan River Crossing near Jasper National Park.

The locations are far enough away that the elk won't be able to find their way back to Banff. But Parks Canada says there won't be a complete exodus from the area. They say about 100 elk will be allowed to stay.