On Friday, September 29 at approximately 8 p.m., a Parks Canada dispatch office received an alert from a Garmin InReach device about a bear attack in the Red Deer River Valley of Banff National Park. A response team travelled through the night to the remote location, arriving at 1 a.m. to find two deceases individuals and a deceased dog. According to a statement issued Saturday night by Parks Canada, officials euthanized the grizzly bear and the victims were transported to nearby Sundre, Alberta.
Speaking with Reuters, a friend of the victims said that conflicts between grizzly bears and human beings are on the rise in the area. “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,” said Kim Titchener, who owns a company that offers courses for people working in bear country. Titchener went on to emphasized the rarity of deadly bear attacks, telling Reuters that “only 14% of grizzly bear attacks worldwide lead to fatalities.”
Bear encounters become more commons in the fall when both grizzlies and black bears increase feeding activities aheae of winter hibernation. According to the National Park Service, bears “eat and drink nearly non-stop” this time of year as they enter hyperphagia.
Official estimates put Banff National Park’s grizzly bear population at around 60 or 65 individual bears. Grizzlies are considered threatened in the province of Alberta, the Alberta Wilderness Association states on its website. Last month, a couple of Banff grizzlies made international headline when they were filmed following a large group of hikers along a popular trail for several miles.