Thursday, June 11, 2009
The Wapiti and the Sandwich
We took a drive the other day from Rocky south to Banff and then up the Jasper-Banff Parkway to Highway 11 and home. It was a long day, but a good one.
We hardly saw any wildlife. In fact this elk was the only big wild critter we saw. He browsed along the side of the highway and let himself be photographed. Elk are good that way.
It reminded me of the time my mom and sister and I went out to BC with an aunt and uncle. It was Easter and snowy and gray. Somewhere along the highway between Banff and the BC border we stopped to view some elk by the side of the road.
This was more than 40 years ago, before anyone heard about not feeding the wildlife, so we did. They came right up to the van window and poked their noses in.
Whether it was my idea or someone suggested it I've long forgotten, but I offered it a salmon sandwich. It was not a hit. I'll spare you the description.
If I recall correctly they liked the beans.
Today I shudder to think how we regarded wildlife in those days. The last thing we need to do is get them used to humans. It leads to all kinds of trouble on both sides.
Fortunately we've learned and most people are sensible enough to obey the law and let the wildlife fend for themselves.
For as wrong as it was, I can't say I regret it. It's another life experience and because of it I can say without hesitation that elk don't eat salmon sandwiches.