A horrific bear attack in Albertas Banff National Park leaves two hikers dead Parks Canada reported late Saturday. According to Natalie Fay, external relations manager for Parks Canada’s Banff field unit, the organization received a GPS warning on Friday night about 8 o’clock indicating a bear attack.
In a statement published on Facebook, the Banff National Park in Alberta stated that Parks Canada personnel “immediately mobilized” to the area after receiving a report of a bear attack on Friday evening. Parks Canada is the Canadian organization that manages all national parks in the nation. Hours later, at around 1 a.m., they arrived at the scene of the alleged bear assault and discovered two victims who had already been fatally mauled.
Due to bad weather, responding officers were unable to reach the scene by helicopter, lengthening the response time. The Facebook post stated that officers were forced to travel “on ground.”
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Responding police OFFICER discovered a “grizzly bear that displayed aggressive behaviour” on the scene. The bear had to be “euthanized on-site to ensure public safety,” according to the Facebook post.
The Red Deer and Panther valleys, Snow Creek Summit east to the National Park boundary, and Shale Pass north are all closed off till further notice around the attack area for safety reasons.
How to Behave and Stay Safe in the Presence of Grizzly Bears
Encountering a grizzly bear in the wilderness is a rare and awe-inspiring experience. These magnificent creatures, while majestic, are also powerful and as we can see in recent attack in Alberta can potentially dangerous and even deadly. Knowing how to behave when approaching a grizzly bear is essential not only for your safety but also for the well-being of the bear.
Stay Calm and Assess the Situation:
If you spot a grizzly bear from a distance, avoid sudden movements and loud noises. Stay calm and assess the bear’s behavior. If the bear is unaware of your presence, quietly move away without disturbing it. Do not approach closer for a better look; observe from a safe distance using binoculars or a camera with a zoom lens.
Carry Bear Spray and Know How to Use It:
Bear spray is a highly effective deterrent when used correctly. Always carry bear spray in an easily accessible location (not in your backpack) and familiarize yourself with its usage. If a grizzly bear approaches within 30-40 feet and shows signs of aggression, use the bear spray in a short burst aiming for the bear’s face.
Play Dead in Defensive Situations:
In the rare event that a grizzly bear charges you, it’s crucial to differentiate between defensive and predatory behavior. Grizzly bears are different than Black bears, you can’t fight it, you will always loose if Grizzly bear attacked you and you try to fight it. If the bear is defensive (protecting cubs or a food source), play dead by lying flat on your stomach, clasping your hands behind your neck, spreading your legs to make it harder to turn you over, and keeping your backpack on for added protection. Remain still until you are certain the bear has left the area.
Avoid Eye Contact and Speak Softly:
If a grizzly bear approaches without showing signs of aggression, speak softly to let the bear know you are human. Do not make direct eye contact, as in the animal kingdom, prolonged eye contact can be perceived as a threat or a challenge. Back away slowly, keeping your eyes downcast.
Travel in Groups and Make Noise:
When hiking in grizzly bear country, travel in groups whenever possible. Bears are less likely to approach noisy groups. Make your presence known by talking, singing, or clapping your hands, especially in areas with limited visibility such as dense vegetation or noisy rivers.
Respect Bear Habitat and Food Sources:
Grizzly bears rely on specific food sources in different seasons. Avoid hiking in areas where bears are actively feeding, such as berry patches or fishing spots. Store food and other scented items securely, either in bear-proof containers or by hanging them from a tree out of a bear’s reach.
Grizzly bear attacks are very rare, yet when they attack, the outcome is usually very severe or even deadly.