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Photographer's Note

Until 3 years ago, wolves hadn't inhabited the Kananaskis Valley in over 50 years. In 2011, they migrated to the valley from nearby Banff National Park. They're a welcome addition to the local ecosystem.

I was both thrilled and saddened to get this shot. I had never seen a wolf in the wild before I saw this guy and his buddy milling about in the road. Yet it seemed wrong to see a wolf by the road. Wolves are generally more reclusive than, say, black bears. Unfortunately, in recent years wolves and humans have had more contact than is probably good for wolves. In fact, a couple years ago, a young male wolf had to be put down after he started stalking campgrounds and picnic areas. Tourists in Kootenay got footage of other tourists feeding a wolf rice cakes on the side of the road. The thoughtlessness of people knows no bounds.

Moral of the story: keep your food safely stowed when you're in the mountains. If you encounter large wildlife, especially large predators, don't get out of your car, don't approach them, and definitely don't feed them.

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Additional Photos by Clark Monson (cdmonson) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 374 W: 52 N: 864] (4496)
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