A bear attack in Alberta’s Banff National Park left two people dead, Parks Canada announced Saturday night.
Natalie Fay, external relations manager for Parks Canada’s Banff field unit, said the agency received an alert from a GPS device coming from the Red Deer River Valley at approximately 8 p.
m. Friday, indicating a bear attack.
In a statement, Fay said a team specially trained in wildlife attacks was mobilized immediately, but the weather hampered their response time.
“Weather conditions at the time did not allow the use of helicopters, and the response team traveled overnight to the location by land,” he said.
“The response team arrived at the scene at 1 a.m. and discovered two people deceased.”
While in the area, the response team encountered a grizzly bear displaying aggressive behavior, Fay said, prompting Parks Canada staff to euthanize it on-site for public safety reasons.
RCMP arrived at 5 a.m. to transport the victims to Sundre, Alta., he said.
“This is a tragic incident and Parks Canada would like to express its deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims,” the statement read.
A closure has been established around the strike area, including the Red Deer and Panther Valleys, from Snow Creek Summit east to the National Park boundary and north to Shale Pass, until further notice as a safety precaution.