Sudbury

Possible wolf roaming near Killarney Provincial Park, waiting on highway for food

A possible wolf has been roaming near Killarney Park, waiting on the highway and begging stopping cars for food.

'Either this animal or someone is going to get hurt,' warns camper

This animal has been seen waiting near and on Highway 637, by Killarney Provincial Park. The animal seems to be waiting for cars to slow down, then approaches the vehicle. (Samantha Samson/CBC News)

Bill Gardner has camped and spent time in Killarney Provincial Park for almost 20 years, but there's one neighbour he's not keen on welcoming to the community.

"Either this animal or someone is going to get hurt at some point," he says.

An animal that appears to be a wolf or a coyote has been spotted several times waiting on Highway 637, near The Crack access point into the park.

The animal waits on the road for vehicles to slow down, then approaches the vehicle calmly. 

Gardner says he first saw it two weeks ago, and has seen it several times since. At first, he and his family tried to watch the animal from "several hundred metres away."

The animal followed Bill Gardner's vehicle for 'several hundred metres' earlier this summer. Gardner is a long-time resident of Killarney Provincial Park who says he's never seen an animal behave this way before. (Supplied/Bill Gardner)

"But then it approached specifically the driver's seat of the car, and waited," he says.

"We moved several hundred metres away, and it followed us."

'Unusual, but not unheard of'

​The ministry of natural resources and forestry cannot confirm whether the animal is a coyote or a wolf. Heather Pridham, who works with the MNRF in Timmins, says no one has reported the animal, but they're keeping an eye on the situation.

"Wolves and coyotes are nocturnal animals, so they would do most of their travelling and hunting by night, in the really early morning or late evening," says Pridham.

"This probably started with someone stopping and offering food to the animal. So it's unusual, but not unheard of."

Last winter, Ontario Parks warned people not to feed foxes in the area. Pridham says no matter which species, it's not smart to get too close to wildlife.

"I think having any wildlife that's habituated to being around humans, there's a potential for danger."

No paparazzi, please

The best thing for drivers to do if they see the animal on the road is to slow down, but don't stop to give it food or take its photo.

"If you stop to take a picture, that animal already thinks 'my reward is coming, just stand still'," says Pridham.

"So just slow down to avoid a collision but keep driving through."

In the meantime, Gardner says he'll be watching for the animal, and reports of someone getting hurt.

"It's going to get hit by a car, but also it is a wild animal," says Gardner.

"Someone is likely to approach it thinking it looks like a dog, it's looking for food and there's nothing preventing it from snapping or biting at them.

This animal waits near a passing car on Highway 637. Others have reported the animal approaches the vehicle, begging for food. (Samantha Samson/ CBC News)

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