Monday, October 2, 2023
CALGARY, Alberta -- An attack by a grizzly bear has left two people dead in a national park in western Canada, and the bear was later killed by park rangers, officials said.
The attack took place Friday in Banff National Park in Alberta Province. The Parks Canada agency received an alert from a GPS device in the park's Red Deer River valley Friday evening that indicated a bear attack was happening, agency spokeswoman Natalie Fay said in a statement.
A response team was mobilized but was hampered by bad weather and was able to reach the site only early Saturday by about 1 a.m., when team members found the bodies of a couple. Identities of the victims were not immediately released.
“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,” Fay said.
The team found an aggressive grizzly bear in the area and killed the animal at the scene for the sake of public safety, Fay said. Authorities closed portions of Banff National Park, a popular tourist destination, as a precaution.
Kim Titchener, founder of a group that provides bear safety seminars, said she was a friend of one of the victims family members and said they were a Canadian couple. She said their dog also was killed.
“This couple were very experienced outdoor enthusiasts,” Titchener said. “They were in the back country to camp.”
I think you should be able to carry a side arm in national parks, which I believe you can't, especially in Canada. Not a guarantee of safety, but you'd have a fighting chance at least. Of course, a .45 weighs a lot and anything smaller would be pointless for a big grizzly bear. But between safety and weight, weight (or lack thereof) wins every time. Life's a risk, after all. Water is heavy; thirst is light.