BANFF – Two Banff residents were fined for having off-leash dogs that resulted in serious conflict situations with wildlife this summer.
Brian Carleton pleaded guilty to contravening the regulations of Canada’s National Parks Act by having a black lab off-leash on June 4 along the Bow River near Surprise Corner.
Crown prosecutor Jessica Young told Judge Les Grieve that wardens were in the area because of an aggressive female elk with a calf that was nearby.
While searching for the elk, she said they saw Carleton and the off-leash dog come within 20 metres of the aggressive elk and yelled to him to get behind a tree before she charged at them both.
“He was able to get behind a tree and Parks Canada staff grabbed the dog and they were able to retreat to Buffalo Street,” said the Crown.
Duty counsel Janice Taylor told court Carleton was walking a friend’s dog and was unaware of the elk in the area.
Taylor said the longtime Banff resident was remorseful for what happened and immediately apologized and was cooperative with wardens.
Young said Carleton received a warning for an off-leash dog in 2014 and there was significant signage in the area indicating it was elk calving season and recommended a $750 fine.
Grieve agreed to a $400 fine and noted the dog did not chase the elk or its calf as part of the incident.
At the beginning of August, Banff resident Mystee Maisonet pleaded guilty to having a dog off-leash while in a closed area.
Crown prosecutor Anita Szabo indicated a grizzly with two bear cubs were nearby and that was the reason for the closure, but Maisonet said she did not see the signs.
She was fined $500 by Judge Pahl.