Couple And Dog Killed By Grizzly Bear While Hiking In Canadian National Park.

Photo credit: Chris Geirman. This bear was seen peacefully grazing by the roadside in Banff Nationa Park in 2017. Could it be the same bear?
- Advertisement -

A pair of Canadian hikers and their dog were killed in an attack by a grizzly bear in Canada’s Banff National Park, park officials said Sunday, according to CBS News, citing a press release from Parks Canada.

Parks Canada said that at approximately 8 p.m. (MT) on Friday, September 29, 2023, Parks Canada Dispatch in Banff National Park received an alert from an inReach/GPS device indicating a bear attack.

The alert location originated from within Banff National Park, in the Red Deer River Valley, west of Ya Ha Tinda Ranch.

Parks Canada immediately mobilised a Wildlife Human Attack Response Team whose members are specially trained in responding to wildlife attacks.

Weather conditions at the time did not allow for helicopter use, and the response team travelled through the night to the location by ground.

The response team arrived on-site at 1 a.m. and discovered two deceased individuals.While in the area, the response team encountered a grizzly bear that displayed aggressive behaviour, leading Parks Canada staff to kill the bear on-site–presumably by shooting it– to ensure public safety.

Several  Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrived at 5 a.m. to assist, and the victims were transported to Sundre, Alberta. Banff National Park is home to both grizzly and black bears.

Park officials did not identify the victims at this time but a family member told CBC New the people who died were a couple who were experienced backcountry hikers. The family member said the couple’s dog was also killed in the attack.

“They lived for being in the backcountry and were two of the most cautious people I know. They knew bear protocol and followed it to a tee,” the family member told CBC News in a statement.

Kim Titchener, a friend of the family and the founder of Bear Safety and More, told Reuters that only 14% of grizzly bear attacks are fatal, but that human-bear encounters are increasing as more people head outdoors.

“It’s really just the reason why we’re seeing more attacks, which is more people heading outdoors and unfortunately not being educated on this,” she said.

Last month, a grizzly bear that had fatally mauled a woman on a forest trail west of Yellowstone National Park in July was killed after it broke into a house near West Yellowstone.

Also in July, a 21-year-old woman who was planting trees was seriously injured by a bear in British Columbia, Canada. Officials could not locate the animal but believe it was a grizzly bear that attacked the woman.

Earlier this month, a hunter in Montana was severely mauled by a grizzly.

Following the weekend attack at Banff National Park, officials closed an area around Red Deer and Panther valleys, Parks Canada said.

“This is a tragic incident, and Parks Canada wishes to express its sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims,” officials said.

Sources: CBS, news agencies, Parks Canada.
- Advertisement -