Food conditioned wolf shot in Kananaskis Country, Alberta
Park officials in Kananaskis Country, Alberta were required to euthanize a grey wolf as it had become overly habituated to humans and potentially posed a threat to public safety. Reports indicate that the wolf was becoming increasingly bold around people, the result of having been conditioned to associate people with food. It was observed approaching vehicles and bicyclists and wandering through a campground looking for human food. On one occasion it was seen running through a campground with a roast in its mouth. The last straw was when it followed a man, child and their puppy within a few meters at a local campground. They were able to escape by entering a bathroom and after several minutes the wolf lost interest and moved off. Conservation officers were given no other option but to shoot the wolf due to public safety concerns.
Several other incidents of campers and tourists either leaving food out at picnic sites or directly feeding wolves, grizzly bears and black bears have been observed in the mountain parks this year. Efforts are ongoing to educate the public about the dangers to both people and wildlife when wildlife associate humans with food.
CCWHC – Alberta conducted the necropsy on the wolf. No underlying disease issues were noted and rabies testing was negative. At the request of the senior park ecologist, the pelt was saved and will be used to educate the public about the dangers of feeding wildlife.
A more detailed account of the incident can be found in this press release.