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An attack from a grizzly bear left two people dead in Banff National Park.
Parks Canada confirmed the tragic incident happened late Friday night when the Parks Canada dispatch in the national park received an alert from an inReach/GPS device indicating the attack.
A Wildlife Human Attack Response Team was quickly mobilized and sent out to the location of the bear attack, which was in the Red Deer River Valley and west of the Ya Ha Tinda Ranch, says Parks Canada.
Unfortunately, the weather conditions on Friday night didn’t allow for helicopter use and the response team had to travel through the night by ground to reach the victims.
“The response team arrived on-site at 1 am and discovered two deceased individuals,” says a Parks Canada spokesperson in a statement.
“While in the area, the response team encountered a grizzly bear that displayed aggressive behaviour, leading Parks Canada staff to euthanize the bear on-site to ensure public safety.”
About four hours later, around 5 am, RCMP officers from Sundre, AB, arrived to help search crews and to bring the victims back to the small town which is about an hour and 15 minute drive east of the ranch.
“This is a tragic incident, and Parks Canada wishes to express its sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims,” says the spokesperson.
As a safety precaution, an area closure was implemented for the Red Deer and Panther valleys over the weekend and is expected to remain in place until further notice.
Failure to follow the area closure could see violators charged with a maximum penalty of $25,000 under the Canada National Parks Act.