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Wolf that attacked Banff camper was in 'poor condition'

Rampart Creek Campground, where the attack happened, was reopened to the public on Monday (Aug. 12) after officials with Parks Canada confirmed through DNA testing they had destroyed the wolf involved
Screen Shot 2019-08-09 at 3.08.05 PM
Rampart Creek Campground along the Icefields Parkway. GOOGLE STREETVIEW IMAGE

A wolf that attacked a camper in Banff National Park last week was in poor condition, according to Parks Canada. 

DNA tests of the animal confirmed the wolf that Parks Canada killed shortly after the incident on Aug. 9 was the same animal that attacked the camper and was likely nearing the end of its natural life cycle. 

"Public safety remains our top priority and Parks Canada takes the protection of wildlife very seriously. In rare incidences such as these, the destruction of an individual animal is required to ensure public safety," wrote Lesley Matheson, public relations and communications officer for Parks Canada. 

According to the federal agency, Parks Canada received a report at 1 a.m. on Aug. 9 of a wolf attacking a person in a tent at the Rampart Creek Campground.

The man, who was with three other members of his family in the tent at the time of the incident, suffered minor injuries to both his forearms and was taken to Banff Mineral Springs Hospital. 

Parks said the wolf was sniffing and pawing around the tent before the attack happened. 

"The camper heard that and then pushed on the fabric of the tent, trying to scare the animal away thinking it was a bear," said Gregg Walker, acting resource conservation manager for Yoho, Kootenay and Lake Louise. 

"In so doing, the wolf grabbed his arm and tore the tent open. There was a struggle between the two for a short period of time." 

Walker confirmed there were no significant wildlife attractants or food inside the tent, or in the immediate vicinity at the time. He said a nearby camper heard the struggle and helped scare the wolf away. 

The wolf believed to be involved in the incident was located by Parks Canada human-wildlife conflict specialists one kilometre south of the campground on Highway 93N an hour later and destroyed.

Walker said the adult male wolf was not known to wildlife managers prior to this, and there were no reports of a wolf frequenting the campground, or surrounding area, prior to the attack. 

The campground was reopened to the public on Monday (Aug. 12). 

Parks Canada continues to ask that all park users in Banff, Lake Louise, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks use safe camping practices, obey all camping regulations, keep food and garbage secure at all times, and report wildlife sightings to Banff Dispatch at 403-762-1473.

Visitors and residents to the region can help reduce the chances of a human-wildlife conflict by keeping dogs on leash, not approaching wildlife and carrying bear spray. 

Rampart Creek campground has 50 camping sites and is approximately 88 kilometres north of Lake Louise and 11 kilometres north of the Saskatchewan River Crossing along the Icefields Parkway. 



Paul Clarke

About the Author: Paul Clarke

Paul Clarke has spent the past four years working as a community news reporter in Jasper, Banff and Canmore.
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