“It’s the coolest thing that’s happened in nature for me,” said Banff resident Tim Bartlett.
On Saturday, June 8, Bartlett was riding his new motorcycle through the Rocky Mountains in B.C. and Alberta, and was on Highway 93 when he saw a huge grey wolf come out of the trees to his left.
It darted out and Bartlett had to swerve to avoid it. He went ahead a short distance and when he looked back the wolf was standing there in the middle of the road looking at him.
Bartlett decided to go back and take some pictures.
Those pictures have now been featured in publications around the world.
“While I was turning around it jumped over a concrete barrier and I thought it was gone,” he said. But as he got closer the wolf jumped back over the barrier and started running towards him.
“It was very tall,” said Bartlett. “But it had a huge head, its head was out of proportion to its body and it had huge paws. It was taking huge strides.”
He said it was bigger than any dog he’d ever seen.
Bartlett said he wasn’t scared as he knew he could always speed away from the wolf, but it did come quite close to him.
“Maybe I should have been more scared than I was,” he joked.
While residents in this part of the province are used to seeing wildlife, to see a wolf exhibit this behaviour is considered unusual.
“This is wildlife on steroids,” joked Bartlett.
He said he believes the wolf was chasing his bike, and not chasing after him. “We used to have a little Border Collie and she used to chase motorbikes,” he said. “She couldn’t help herself.”
Bartlett took off when traffic started to build up and he was worried the wolf was going to get hit.
But it’s something he’ll never forget.
“It happened a week or so ago, but it still feels cool, I’m still buzzing,” he said.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Tim Bartlett as a B.C. resident.