A grizzly bear attack in Canada’s Banff National Park claimed the lives of a couple and their dog. This marks the second fatal grizzly attack in North America since July.
On Friday around 8 p.m., Parks Canada Dispatch received an alert of a bear attack via a GPS device within Banff National Park, specifically in the Red Deer River Valley.
A specialized team trained for wildlife attacks was dispatched, traveling by ground due to poor weather conditions preventing helicopter use. They arrived on-site around 1 a.m., finding the couple already deceased. During their presence, they encountered and euthanized an aggressive grizzly bear.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrived at 5 a.m. to assist in transporting the victims to Sundre, Alberta.
Although the victims weren’t officially identified, a family member confirmed they were experienced backcountry hikers. Tragically, their dog also perished in the attack.
Kim Titchener, a friend of the family and founder of Bear Safety and More, noted that while grizzly bear attacks are typically not fatal (only 14% are), the rise in human-bear encounters is due to more people venturing outdoors without proper education on bear safety.
This incident follows a recent case where a grizzly bear that fatally mauled a woman near Yellowstone National Park in July was killed after breaking into a house. Additionally, a 21-year-old woman was seriously injured by a suspected grizzly bear in British Columbia in July, and a hunter in Montana was severely mauled by a grizzly earlier this month.
In response to the Banff National Park attack, officials have closed off an area around Red Deer and Panther valleys, expressing their condolences to the victims’ families and friends.