Earlier this week, we were hit with the horrific news that a Canadian couple and their dog had been mauled to death by a grizzly bear while camping at Banff National Park.
Parks Canada said that they had received an alert of a bear attack from a GPS device late last Friday in the Red Deer River Valley, west of Ya Ha Tinda Ranch in Banff.
They sent out a rescue group to locate those who had been attacked, but had to travel by foot instead of a helicopter due to bad weather conditions. By the time they arrived in the early hours of Saturday morning, the couple had already passed.
The group then discovered the grizzly bear, and euthanized it after noticing it was displaying aggressive behavior.
With that being said, we’re now learning about who the victims were.
According to the Calgary Herald,the couple have been identified as Doug Inglis and Jenny Gusse, both 62. They were a research scientist and a lab technician at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Research Centre.
They attempted to get the bear to leave with bear spray, but it didn’t work. Colin Inglis, Doug’s uncle, told the outlet that they had shared everything they planned to do during their seven-day trip in Banff.
Late Friday afternoon, they told him that they were delayed getting to their camping spot, and decided to hunker down for the night near the Red Deer River.
However, Colin began to worry after he received an SOS message.
He told the outlet:
“I got a call from their Garmin that said, ‘Bear attack bad.'”
He also noted that park officials were notified by this signal immediately as well.
“The alarm bells were going off, ‘This is not good’ — that means there’d been some engagement. You’re completely helpless to know what’s going on.”
The rescue team’s trek took three hours, and it was nearly 2 AM when they had made it to the bodies, including their seven-year-old border collie. At the site, a full can of bear spray had been completely used.
“One can of bear spray had been fully discharged, but this bear was not to be deterred.”
Park officials believe that the two were in their tent reading when the attack occurred.
The uncle continued:
“Their tent was crushed and their e-readers were open, they were both discovered in their stocking feet.”
The bear that killed the couple was a 25-year-old female in a “fair body condition,” but was underweight for this time of year, which is the time bears are preparing for hibernation.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of Doug Inglis and Jenny Gusse.