BANFF NATIONAL PARK – Two people are dead following a grizzly bear attack in Banff National Park, according to Parks Canada.
The federal agency said it received an alert from an inReach GPS device Friday (Sept. 29) at about 8 p.m. in Red Deer River Valley west of Ya Ha Tinda Ranch.
Natalie Fay, external relations manager for Parks Canada’s Banff field unit, said in an email a wildlife human attack response team was mobilized but weather delayed the team arriving via helicopter with the team travelling during the night on the ground to get to the location.
“The response team arrived on-site at 1 a.m. and discovered two deceased individuals,” Fay said in an email. “While in the area, the response team encountered a grizzly bear that displayed aggressive behaviour, leading Parks Canada staff to euthanize the bear on-site to ensure public safety.”
Fay said Sundre RCMP arrived at 5 a.m. to help on scene and move the two people killed by the grizzly bear to Sundre.
Parks Canada issued an area closure for Red Deer and Panther valleys from Snow Creek Summit east to the boundary of Banff National Park and north to Shale Pass. The closure will remain in place until rescinded by Parks Canada.
The federal agency recommends people carry bear spray at all times when on trails and know how to use it as well as only using official marked paths and trails, travelling during daylight hours and doing so with groups of people. They also ask for people to watch for signs of a bear such as tracks and droppings, keeping a dog on leash at all times and making noise to let bears in the area know a person or people are in the area.
“This is a tragic incident and Parks Canada wishes to express its sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims,” Fay said in an email.