Canada grizzly bear attack victims were on a permitted hike and carrying bear spray | spcilvly

(Reuters) – The two people killed by a grizzly bear in Alberta’s Banff National Park last week were on a permitted hiking and camping trip and there was no warning of active bears at the time of the incident, the ministry said. Tuesday Canadian park officials.

Park staff found two cans of bear spray at the scene and that the individuals’ food had been hung appropriately to avoid attracting animals, Parks Canada said in a statement.

The deaths were the first of a grizzly bear in Banff National Park in decades and involved a bear that was not collared, tagged or previously known to park staff, according to the release.

Parks Canada was alerted to the bear attack on Friday night and the response team shot and killed the animal when it charged at them.

Authorities, through a necropsy, determined that the bear was an older, non-lactating female, estimated to be more than 25 years old. The bear was in good condition, but had less body fat than normal for this time of year and had poor teeth.

“Parks Canada does not believe there is another bear involved at this time,” he said, adding that an area closure has been put in place out of an abundance of caution.

Parks Canada said it will not release information related to the victims’ identities. The victims were a Canadian couple and their dog, according to Kim Titchener, founder of Bear Safety and More and also a family friend.

Bear sightings increase during the fall as they become more active in search of food before hibernating in the cold winter months. Banff National Park, which attracts more than 4 million tourists each year, is home to brown and black bears.

There are about 60 grizzly bears in Banff National Park and they are considered a threatened population in Alberta. In the past 10 years, three non-fatal contact encounters with grizzly bears have been recorded in the park.

(Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Ottawa; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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