Sundre, Canada – A devastating event unfolded in the serene wilderness of Banff National Park on Friday evening, as a grizzly bear fatally attacked a couple and their dog, as reported by Parks Canada. The couple, known for their love of the outdoors, were in the remote backcountry of the park when the incident occurred. The identities of the victims have yet to be disclosed.
The couple’s dog, who was accompanying them during their excursion, also tragically lost its life to the bear. The news of this unfortunate incident has sent shockwaves through the community, leaving friends and family in deep sorrow.
The alarm about the bear attack was raised by a GPS device located in the Red Deer River Valley, west of Ya Ha Tinda Ranch, at around 8 p.m. on Friday. A team specialized in wildlife attacks was promptly dispatched, but their arrival was delayed due to severe weather conditions that rendered helicopter travel unfeasible. The team managed to reach the site via ground transport at 1 a.m., where they discovered the deceased victims.
While at the scene, the response team encountered a grizzly bear displaying aggressive behavior. In the interest of public safety, Parks Canada staff made the difficult decision to euthanize the animal. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrived at the scene at 5 a.m. to transport the victims.
Bear attacks, particularly fatal ones, are relatively uncommon. Only 14% of grizzly bear attacks worldwide result in fatalities. Most bear attacks are believed to be caused by surprise encounters, often when people are hiking or setting up camp. Bears are more active at dusk and during the period of hyperphagia when they increase their food intake in preparation for hibernation.
The area where the attack occurred is remote and difficult to access, characterized by steep cliffs and only reachable by foot or horseback. The fact that the bear remained in the vicinity after the attack is considered unusual, especially if the attack was defensive in nature.
Bear safety remains a critical consideration for those venturing into the wilderness. Experts advise traveling in groups, making noise to alert animals of human presence, and carrying bear spray. If signs of bears are spotted, it is recommended to leave the area immediately. Parks Canada has issued a closure order for the area where the attack took place, including the Red Deer and Panther valleys, as a safety precaution. The closure will remain in effect until further notice.