According to Reuters,a couple and their dog was killed in a grizzly bear attack in Alberta’s Banff National Park.
Parks Canada said in a statement that they had received an alert of a bear attack from a GPS device late on Friday, indicating a bear attack in the Red Deer River Valley, located west of Ya Ha Tinda Ranch in Banff.
The bear, which was showing aggressive behavior, was ultimately euthanized.
Kim Titchener, the founder of Bear Safety and More and also a family friend of the victims, confirmed that it was a Canadian couple and their dog.
Titchener says these encounters are becoming more common as more people are going outdoors, but fatal attacks are still extremely rare.
She told the outlet:
“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 noted that only 14% of bear attacks lead to fatalities worldwide.
Bear sightings are much more common this time of year, as the creatures round up food in preparation for hibernation during the winter months.
There are around 60 grizzly bears in Banff National Park, and Titchener says they’re considered to be a threatened population in Alberta. A Parks Canada rescue team had to travel by ground during the night to the location where the attack occurred, as weather conditions did not allow helicopter use.
The agency said they ended up at the location in the early hours of Saturday morning, and discovered the two deceased bodies.
Talk about a heartbreaking situation, and it’s the harsh reality we must face every time we go to a national park.
Just the other day, we saw a big grizz encounter a group of hikers in Banff: