A bear attack in Alberta’s Banff National Park has left two people dead, Parks Canada announced late Saturday.
Natalie Fay, external relations manager for Parks Canada’s Banff field unit, said the agency received an alert from a GPS device originating from the Red Deer River Valley at approximately 8 p.m. on Friday, indicating a bear attack.
In a statement, Fay said a team specially trained in wildlife attacks was immediately mobilized, but weather hindered their response time.
“Weather conditions at the time did not allow for helicopter use, and the response team travelled through the night to the location by the ground,” she said.
“The response team arrived on-site at 1 a.m. and discovered two deceased individuals.”
While in the area, the response team encountered a grizzly bear displaying aggressive behaviour, Fay said, leading Parks Canada staff to euthanize it on-site for public safety.
RCMP arrived at 5 a.m. to transport the victims to Sundre, Alta., she said.
“This is a tragic incident and Parks Canada wishes to express its sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims,” the statement read.
A closure is in place around the attack 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.