August 04, 2016 - 1:00 PM
BANFF, Alta. - Parks Canada says staff have killed another wolf that was seeking to feed at campgrounds in Banff National Park, as wardens ticket a growing number of visitors for leaving out food and garbage.
Parks Canada spokeswoman Christina Tricomi said the wolf was displaying bold behaviour towards people and could not be scared away from the Two Jack Main and Lakeside campgrounds.
About 200 tent campers were moved away from the area on Wednesday as a safety precaution before the wolf was destroyed.
"This was a very difficult decision for Parks Canada staff, who work so hard to protect these animals, but in the end it was a necessary action to ensure visitor safety," Tricomi wrote in an email Thursday.
In June, Parks Canada staff killed a female wolf that it said aggressively looked for food at the Tunnel Mountain campground near Banff.
Park wardens have charged people at 20 campsites over the past month — including eight people over the past week — for keeping unsatisfactory campsites, which includes leaving out food or garbage that can attract wildlife.
"Parks Canada will be patrolling all campgrounds and any non-compliance with keeping a clean campsite will immediately result in the cancellation of permits, evacuation and charges with fines of up to $25,000," she said.
Parks Canada said it has worked hard to try to keep wolves away from campers, including collaring the animals to monitor their behaviour.
Wolf warnings, including reminders not to leave food out, are posted at campgrounds and campers are told about the danger when they check in.
"Despite these efforts, wolves are still receiving food rewards in campgrounds and sites were still being left in unsatisfactory condition by visitors," Tricomi said.
Katie Morrison, conservation director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Association, said people who visit national parks need to remember why they were established — in part, to protect wildlife.
She said the association is concerned about the fate of the wolves and the conservation of the parks as ecosystems.
"People who are going to these places to appreciate them are not acting responsibly," she said.
It has been a tough season for the wolves that make up the Bow Valley pack.
Last month, three wolf cubs were killed by a train in the park. Another cub was killed by a train in June.
Parks Canada said it will work to ensure the remaining wolves in the pack are wary of people.
Wardens also plan to step up efforts to ensure campers and other visitors follow park rules, including keeping food and garbage secure, not feeding wildlife and giving animals space.
— By John Cotter in Edmonton
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016