Caribou snared by bear pole in Tonquin Valley - ClubTread Community

User Tag List

 11Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Interest: Adventure travel
Posts: 289
Default Caribou snared by bear pole in Tonquin Valley

How terribly ironic :-( I've always preferred to ski tour the Tonquin, but this year we ventured into Wates-Gibson hut this past weekend due to the planned closure of the area from mid-Nov to mid-Feb. This closure is part of the strategy to protect a highly endangered herd of Woodland Caribou.

So, on a late afternoon hike up to Amethyst Lakes while passing through Surprise Point campground, I noticed a commotion in the trees. We found an adult male caribou had snared its antlers around a loop of the food storage cables aka bear pole.



Of the four cables hanging suspended from a main support line, three were swinging free and only one was properly secured to the pole. Our presence panicked the animal so we only stayed long enough to examine the cables and left, determined to return next day with tools.

Our arrival next morning was a shock...the caribou appeared to have hanged itself.



In fact, it had twisted the cable repeatedly around and slowly wound itself up so that it was now hanging by its antlers with only the hind hooves barely touching the ground. It stirred as we got closer...it was alive! I cut one of the main support cables with a hacksaw and the animal collapsed to the ground then quickly got up and pulled away from us but was still tethered. The caribou was surprisingly quiet as I worked on the other cable - my partner said it appeared to be waiting patiently for me to finish the job.



Once the other main cable released, the caribou was off like a shot into a nearby meadow, bucking and throwing its head as it ran. Unfortunately, with that first loop firmly around the base of its antlers and now the entire collection of cables twisted into a single gnarly strand, there was virtually no hope it would free itself. After about 10 minutes of trying, the animal stopped to rest and even grazed a bit.



We left it alone at that point, hiked over to the Warden's Cabin on a faint-hope, then up to Clitheroe campground to check those bear poles (thankfully, they were properly secured).



A telephone call to the Jasper Wardens upon our return home was quickly responded to and I believe they are going to scout the area by helicopter to locate and tranquilize the animal so the cables can be removed. I have their promise of an update and will hopefully conclude this story with a happy ending. Meanwhile, here is a YouTube clip of this misadventure.

http://youtu.be/_G3ipIjkK_g

Trail Talk
"Retired but not yet tired"
Trail Talk is offline  
Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 11:17 AM
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Rome Italy
Interest: Climbing
Posts: 1,219
Default

I couldnt watch it all, a sad video, good on ya for doing your best.
J Mace is offline  
post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 11:22 AM
High on the Mountain Top
 
Candy Sack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: BC, Canada.
Posts: 1,324
Default

That's terrible. I've seen similar videos before, and they're sad to watch. Hopefully the wardens find it and can help. Thanks for going back and doing the best you could.
Candy Sack is offline  
 
post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 11:30 AM
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Canmore, AB Canada
Posts: 2,779
Default

Truly terrible, in particular heartbreaking pic/clip when he is suspended in the air by the cable. Yes, thank you for doing what could be done; cross fingers for happy ending
Shade likes this.
zeljkok is online now  
post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 11:30 AM
Summit Master
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Interest: Hiking, watercolour painting, chasing wildlife, backcountry cooking
Posts: 2,893
Default

Ai carumba! Good on you for helping it out. I'd probably be too scared - are you used to being around large animals?
mad owl woman is offline  
post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 11:51 AM
Summit Master
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Vancouver, , .
Posts: 2,674
Default

You deserve a lot of credit for your actions.
sgRant is offline  
post #7 of (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 12:04 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: in da bush, alberta, Canada.
Interest: playing guitar,drums fly-fishing,hiking,scrambling,mountaineering
Posts: 1,074
Default

Thanks for helping that poor soul out. Hope the wardens find him,tranquilize him and let him be free once again.
nmcan84 is offline  
post #8 of (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 12:17 PM
Summit Master
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Interest: Hiking, watercolour painting, chasing wildlife, backcountry cooking
Posts: 2,893
Default

ps - I'll never walk past a bear pole without clipping the loops again.
mad owl woman is offline  
post #9 of (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 12:47 PM
Summit Master
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Vancouver, , .
Posts: 2,674
Default

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by mad owl woman

Ai carumba! Good on you for helping it out. I'd probably be too scared - are you used to being around large animals?
I think animals have a sense of when they're in big trouble, and in that calmness or resignation to their fate they may be able to sense either that not much worse can happen, or that someone is there to help. Birds with bad injuries typically become very docile like this and you'd think the birds would be more likely to expect they are about to be eaten by the humans handling them.

Also, the animal should shed the horns in the spring anyway.
sgRant is offline  
post #10 of (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 12:49 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Port Moody, BC, Canada.
Posts: 984
Default

Amazing job, guys! Really glad you helped the animal. Hopefully he'll survive and carry on with his Caribou life.
Arnold is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome
 

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1