Motorcyclist takes photos of wolf chasing him on highway
Banff, Alta., man was testing out new motorcycle on Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park
A Banff, Alta., man came within metres of being caught by a wolf, but luckily he was on his motorcycle during the close call on Highway 93.
He was also able to snap some photos of the chase.
Tim Bartlett was testing out his new bike in Kootenay National Park on Saturday when he almost hit a wolf.
He swerved and sped away, but then headed back with his camera.
By the time he got back to the area where he saw the wolf, it had jumped over a concrete barrier. He thought it was gone.
"But as soon as I got to where that was, it jumped back, and the chase was on," said Bartlett.
The wolf crossed a lane of traffic while attempting to catch up to him.
"It sort of sped up initially; it gave a real good burst of speed," said Bartlett. "And then after that it just trotted along beside me, but it probably got within three or four metres."
Bartlett said he once had a border collie that used to chase bikes, and this kind of felt like the same thing.
The wolf kept up with him for about a kilometre, while Bartlett snapped some pictures. He eventually sped off — going roughly 100 metres down the highway — before coming to a stop.
The wolf had stopped in the middle of the road before heading back into the nearby forest.
Wolf chases are rare, Parks Canada says
Bartlett said he wasn't trying to provoke the animal, but was happy with the outcome.
"I got six really good shots and ... the one that came in nice and close, he had his ears pinned right back and he was in full gallop," he said. "It looked really cool."
Bartlett said it's an incredible experience he will never forget.
It's also "not normal behaviour," said Michelle Macullo of Parks Canada.
She said it's rare to even see a wolf, never mind to be chased by one.
"It's likely that this animal is habituated, so what that means is this animal has lost some of its natural fear of humans… so it's definitely cause for concern for us," she said.
The area has attracted wolves in the past because people were feeding them. Officials issued an alert last year when pictures of a wolf being fed rice cakes surfaced.
"If people see animals roadside and if they are… being aggressive or doing things like pursuing folks, we need for people to call us because the more information we have, and the sooner they call, the sooner we can go and investigate," said Macullo.
Bartlett reported the incident to authorities.