For over 6 years, a magnificent bull elk roamed the community of Cougar Creek in Canmore, Alberta. He became known to many as Wally, Marvin, Uncle Buck, Boris... and more.
He was a gentle giant that adopted our community as a safe haven, integrating seamlessly in our daily life while overtly conscious of neighbourly coexistence without causing significant damage, injury or turmoil. This is not a story about human-wildlife conflict; quite the opposite! It is an entry point to a larger conversation about celebration and responsibility in choosing to live, work and play in this amazing wilderness town. It highlights features of mountain living with our treasured wildlife and how to coexist safely and respectfully. We cannot ignore that wildlife sometimes chooses to live with us; an experience that changes individuals, communities. and the creatures whose domain we inhabit.
Wally’s legacy is one that has tied this community together, celebrated through stories and folklore. The path he strolled daily and throughout the years has become an invisible web of connection.
Now a collection of stories has been compiled into a self-guided walking tour for everyone to enjoy. Small recognizable elk signs identify key points of interest in the neighbourhood correspond to downloadable audio files that accompany you on a virtual journey of Wally and the many lives he has touched.
It is in deep gratitude we live, work and play on the land of the Treaty 7 People – the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani), the Tsuut’ina, the Îyâxe Nakoda Nations (Chiniki, Bearspaw, Wesley), and the Métis Nation (Region 3). We are committed to walking in the spirit of reconciliation.
The Legacy of Wally