Grizzly bear attack in Banff National Park leaves couple, dog dead

FILE-An adult grizzly bear walks through a nearby campground and picnic area on June 27, 2013 in Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. (Please note, this is not the bear involved in the attack, this is only a file photo)

A couple and their dog reportedly have been killed by grizzly bear in Canada’s popular Banff National Park, leading officials there to euthanize the animal after they found it displaying "aggressive behavior." 

Banff National Park said in a statement that Parks Canada staff received an alert Friday night from a GPS device indicating a "bear attack" in the Red Deer River Valley area, west of Ya Ha Tinda Ranch. 

"Parks Canada immediately mobilized a Wildlife Human Attack Response Team whose members are specially trained in responding to wildlife attacks," the park said. "Weather conditions at the time did not allow for helicopter use, and the response team traveled through the night to the location by ground. 

"The response team arrived on-site at 1 a.m. and discovered two deceased individuals," the park continued. "While in the area, the response team encountered a grizzly bear that displayed aggressive behavior, leading Parks Canada staff to euthanize the bear on-site to ensure public safety." 


The bear attack happened Friday in Banff National Park. Shown here is Moraine Lake, one of the park's most photographed areas. (Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrived hours later and transported the victims to Sundre, a town outside of Calgary. 

Kim Titchener, the founder of the Alberta-based Bear Safety and More organization, told Reuters that the victims were a Canadian couple and their dog.  

She added that about 60 grizzly bears are currently roaming in Banff National Park and their existence in the Canadian province is threatened. 


A statement from a family member of one of the deceased said the victims were "long-term partners who loved the outdoors and were inseparable," according to the CBC. 

"They lived for being in the backcountry and were two of the most cautious people I know," the CBC added, citing that statement. "They knew bear protocol and followed it to a tee." 

Banff National Park has announced that "[a]s a safety precaution, an area closure has been implemented and will remain in place until further notice. 

FILE-There are about 60 grizzly bears living in Banff National Park, according to Reuters. (George Rose/Getty Images) (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

"This is a tragic incident, and Parks Canada wishes to express its sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims, "the park said.

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