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Search for 'extreme survivalist' closes part of Quetico near the Boundary Waters

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Part of Quetico Provincial Park in Canada, near the border with Minnesota, is closed as officials search for a man described as an "extreme survivalist" who may not be wearing shoes and may be lacking a canoe.

The southwestern portion of Quetico, adjacent to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, is closed as a "precautionary measure" until the "person of concern" – identified as 26-year-old Aaron Nathaniel King – has been found, an alert from park officials says.

Canadian officials hope to speak with King to make sure he has the resources he needs to support himself. Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Matt LeBlanc told the Duluth News Tribune he's described as an "extreme survivalist," but he doesn't seem to have the proper provisions to survive.

"He hasn't done anything to anyone that we know of. But it's very unusual,'' Trevor Gibb, Quetico superintendent, told the newspaper. "In all my years in the park business I've never heard of anything like this."

King, who has no known address, had been "staying in Ely for the past several months" before he crossed the border into Canada, LeBlanc told the Star Tribune.


Ely police had been asked to check on his welfare, but there was no problem at the time and no crime had occurred, Ely Police Chief John Lahtonen told the Duluth News Tribune.

King – described as a white man, 5-foot, 10-inches tall and weighing 160 lbs., with light brown hair and a scruffy beard – was last spotted in the areas of Brent Lake and Crooked Lake in Quetico Provincial Park, officials say.

If visitors see a man matching his description, they are told stay clear and to not engage him.

Officials have even closed several lakes near the border with Minnesota, including Brent, Darkwater, William, Conmee, McIntyre, Scarlett and Cone lakes, along with the Darkwater River, while they investigate.

Earlier attempts by Ontario Provincial Police failed to find King, so rangers are now looking for him in the closed sections of the park.

Officials say travel on these waterways and camping on their shores is prohibited.

If King is spotted, visitors should note the time and location of their sighting and report it to the Ontario Provincial Police at 1-807-683-4200 and to a Park Staff Member.

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