Officials arrived at the camp more than 24 hours later and found two bodies there.
The Wildlife Human Attack Response Team, whose members are specialized in responding to animal attacks, said they found a grizzly bear in the area exhibiting “aggressive behavior.”
“To ensure public safety, the team chose to euthanize the bear on site,” Banff National Park said in a statement. Report on Facebook.
The couple was found dead around 1am on Sunday. Four hours later, local police arrived and took the victims to Sundre, a town in central Alberta.
The victims have not yet been identified, but are a family member Canadian Broadcasting Corporation told News They are common law partners and experienced backcountry hikers.
The family said that the couple’s dog also died.
“They were longtime partners who loved the outdoors and were inseparable,” a family member told CBC in a statement. “They lived for being in the back country, and two people I know were very cautious. They knew bear protocol and followed it to a T.”
Parks Canada did not immediately respond to The Washington Post’s questions about the couple’s identity Monday morning.
This is the second fatal grizzly attack in North America, after a grizzly bear mauled a woman on a forest trail west of Yellowstone National Park in July. The Post reported in September that the bear had entered a man’s home in search of food and was later euthanized.
The Canadian Rockies and Columbia Mountains are home to grizzlies and black bears. According to to Parks Canada.
Bears are more common in the fall when the animals begin actively searching for food as they prepare to hibernate during the cold winter months.
The Parks Canada website says the safest approach is to avoid an encounter with a bear, but if that’s not possible, using bear spray or playing dead should be the first option. If they don’t work, the climbers will have to fight back.
Fourteen percent of grizzly bear attacks result in fatalities worldwide, says Bear Safety and More founder Kim Titzener and a family friend of at least one of the victims. told Reuters.
Violent encounters between grizzlies and humans are increasing as more people enjoy the outdoors, he said, but are still very rare.
“That’s really the reason we’re seeing more attacks, it’s more people going outdoors and unfortunately not reading about it,” he said.
Banff National Park is home to approximately 65 grizzly bears. According to to Parks Canada, and are considered a threatened species.
Across a vast area in western Alberta, the Yukon and Northwest Territories, and British Columbia, there are 20,000 grizzly bears.
The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada lists grizzly bears as a species of “special concern” because they are particularly sensitive to human activities or natural events.
They are being decimated by human intolerance, market hunting, rapid conversion of habitat to agriculture and the loss of their main prey, buffalo, Parks Canada said.
Officers The area is closed indefinitely of the park where the attack took place. Fines of up to $25,000 can be imposed if visitors are found in off-limits areas.
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