19 June 2013
A HAPPY ENDING
This story, with accompanying photos, has been making the rounds on social media. In British Columbia, Canada, a motorcyclist was traveling on a mountain highway when a gray wolf emerged from the trees and started to chase him. The man pulled ahead, then stopped and took out his camera. What ensued is familiar to anyone who has seen a dog chase moving cars ~ the motorcyclist continued on his way at moderate speed, and the wolf followed, never overtaking the bike. (See image above, click to enlarge ~ I just wish the SUV driver wasn't hugging the right side of the travel lane quite so closely, though he/she probably wanted to get a close look too.)
This highly unusual behavior was witnessed by other drivers, but the photos clinch the story. Clearly this was not hunting behavior, but play. It's likely the wolf was young, and had not yet learned to avoid humans (as most wolves do). The rider was never in any danger, and his presence of mind in taking photos demonstrates that he felt no threat from the wolf.
Using a camera rather than a gun to interact with wildlife is something I've long challenged hunters to do. In the back country, you still get to enjoy the outdoors, and you also get to demonstrate your field craft and your knowledge of your subject ~ and if successful, you have fine photos as fitting trophies. No loss of life. Everyone wins.
Here is an interview with the motorcyclist, along with additional images from the "chase". I would love to have been that biker!