Two Separate Grizzly Bear Attacks Reported In Alberta On Sunday

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Two separate grizzly bear attacks occurred within less than 50 miles of each other on Sunday afternoon in Southern Alberta as conflicts with bears continue to rise concerningly fast across North America.

The first attack occurred on Sunday afternoon on Storelk Mountain. A 38-year-old man was hiking by himself when he was attacked by a female grizzly bear and two cubs. An investigation by the Alberta Environment and Parks ministry determined that the bear was acting defensively and not out of aggression. A senior park ecologist spoke with CBS News about the attack.

“I think both the hiker and the bear were equally surprised, and in those situations, the female grizzly bear will actively defend her cubs. 

She instantaneously realized he was there and charged him and knocked him down.

We would ask you to demonstrate extra caution when you’re out there, make noise, so you don’t have that close-range surprise encounter. Carry bear spray and learn how to use it.”

In addition to carrying bear spray, pistols are also a sufficient option for bear defense, as recently showcased by MeatEater’s Clay Newcomb. The video often highlights the incredible suddenness with which charging bears can close the distance during conflicts like the recent ones in Alberta.

The hiker was later airlifted from the wilderness to a hospital in Calgary, where he remains in stable condition after being treated for a variety of serious puncture wounds and lacerations.

At 8 pm on Sunday, two hunters placed an emergency call to report that one of them had been attacked by a bear just 44 miles from where the day’s earlier attack took place.

The men were grouse hunting near the Alberta-British Columbia border when they bumped into another grizzly sow and her two cubs. The bear attacked one of the hunters, but ultimately the other hunter was able to shoot the bear presumably with a shotgun and scare it off.

The hunter who was attacked is currently recovering and remains in stable condition at a local hospital.

The area surrounding the site of the attack is now closed as authorities search for the bear that potentially sustained injuries from the gunshot and may be increasingly hostile towards humans as a result.

Fatal bear attacks are rare, but fatalities caused by bears are increasing alongside the rise in overall conflicts. There have already been 6 fatal bear attacks in 2021 across North America. Considering that the fall hunting season is the most dangerous time of the year for aggressive grizzly encounters, that number could continue to rise as game species are harvested by hunters are also preferred food sources for bears.

The vast majority of dangerous and deadly bear attacks are committed by grizzlies.

These recent two attacks in Alberta are not the only terrifying stories about grizzly bear encounters this year. A sheep hunter in Alaska is lucky to be alive after a recent grizzly attackA grizzly bear also ripped a camper out of a tent during a fatal attack in Montana earlier this summer. In another instance, an Alaska man was holed up in a remote camp for a week and had to fend off multiple grizzly attacks before being rescued by the Coast Guard. Another Alaska man had part of his face crushed in a brutal grizzly attack this spring.

The hiker was later airlifted from the wilderness to a hospital in Calgary, where he remains in stable condition after being treated for a variety of serious puncture wounds and lacerations.

At 8 pm on Sunday, two hunters placed an emergency call to report that one of them had been attacked by a bear just 44 miles from where the day’s earlier attack took place.

The men were grouse hunting near the Alberta-British Columbia border when they bumped into another grizzly sow and her two cubs. The bear attacked one of the hunters, but ultimately the other hunter was able to shoot the bear and scare it off.

The hunter who was attacked is currently recovering and remains in stable condition at a local hospital.

The area surrounding the site of the attack is now closed as authorities search for the bear that potentially sustained injuries from the gunshot and may be increasingly hostile towards humans as a result.

Fatal bear attacks are rare, but fatalities caused by bears are increasing alongside the rise in overall conflicts. There have already been 6 fatal bear attacks in 2021 across North America. Considering that the fall hunting season is the most dangerous time of the year for aggressive grizzly encounters, that number could be on the rise as hunters harvest game species are also preferred food sources for bears.

Grizzly bear hunting is prohibited in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and in Alberta. As a result, the number of bears on the landscape is increasing, which is a leading cause behind the increase in bear attacks. Grizzly bear management is a complex issue that warrants an entire article of its own, but at some point, the trade-off between outlawing bear hunting at the cost of human life needs to be reevaluated in areas where Grizzlies are present and hunting them is prohibited.

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