Queensbury doctor rushes to aid of fellow campers attacked by wolf in Canada

August 21, 2019 07:45 PM

QUEENSBURY -  It happened in the middle of beautiful Banff National Park in Alberta,Canada.

The Jorgensen family of Queensbury---Todd and Laurie and their two boys, ages 12 and 13, had spent the day exploring the Canadian Rockies and they were sound asleep in their rented RV.

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It was after midnight when they were awakened by blood curdling screams.

"And it sounded like it might've been an axe murderer," said Todd Jorgensen.

A doctor in practice for 20 years, Todd grabbed his shoes, a light and some bear spray and hopped on a bike, pedaling toward the screams.

“I was as scared as I’ve ever been when I left the RV and heard that screaming. I didn’t know if I was going to get shot or someone was going to come out with an axe," said Jorgensen during an interview in his office Wednesday. "It was very scary. I was shaking getting on my bike.”

He arrives to find a wolf had attacked a family as they lie sleeping in their tent. Another good Samaritan, by the name of Russ Fee, had helped to break the father from the jaws of the animal.

Jorgensen quickly checked the man's injuries.

"I was trying to assess his lacerations and at the same time we noticed that the wolf was still in the campground."

Jorgensen said the wolf didn't want to leave and at one point he found himself with the other good Samaritan trying to chase it away.

"The wolf was huge." Jorgensen said it was as tall as his Great Dane.

He's seen a lot of wolves and photographed them, but never felt threatened by them.

"But this one was acting very differently."

So Todd enlisted the aid of some other campers with a car and they drove him around the campground to alert other people who were staying in tents.

Park rangers later shot and killed the 80-pound animal and closed down that section of the campground.

Jorgensen says he's camped at Banff seven times and would gladly do it again.

"Even if I saw a wolf now, I'd never be uncomfortable around it, because it's just so unusual."

Jorgensen says he prefers to tent camp, but his wife prefers to stay in an RV. He says after this ordeal, it's not likely he'll be able to convince her to go back to sleeping in a tent.


Mark Mulholland

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