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Couple and their dog killed in grizzly bear attack at national park

Responders at the scene encountered the aggressive bear and euthanized it onsite to ensure public safety.
Couple and their dog killed in grizzly bear attack at national park
Posted at 1:14 PM, Oct 02, 2023

A couple was killed in a grizzly bear attack at Canada's popular Banff National Park on Friday evening.

A family member said the couple's dog, who was with them, is also dead, according to reports.

Banff National Park said it received an alert from an inReach/GPS device at 8 p.m. Friday signaling a bear attack. A Wildlife Human Attack Response Team, whose members are trained to respond to attacks, was deployed to the area by foot. Weather conditions did not permit the use of helicopters, the national park said.

When team members arrived on scene at 1 a.m., they discovered two lifeless bodies. They were also met with a grizzly bear exhibiting aggressive behavior. This led Parks Canada staff to "euthanize the bear on-site to ensure public safety," Banff National Park said in a statement.

"They were long-term partners who loved the outdoors and were inseparable," a family member said in a statement to the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC).

"They lived for being in the backcountry and were two of the most cautious people I know. They knew bear protocol and followed it to a T," the family member said.

Banff National Park expressed condolences to the family.

"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.

As a precaution, the park said it implemented an area closure until further notice. Violators who do not abide by the rules of the closure will be subject to a fine with a maximum penalty of $25,000. 

Banff National Park has a population of both grizzly and black bears. Parks Canada's website offers information on how to avoid and address a bear encounter.

In a separate incident in July, a grizzly bear was also responsible for the death of a woman in West Yellowstone, Montana. That bear, also having had multiple encounters with people at Yellowstone National Park, was euthanized in September.

SEE MORE: Grizzly bear euthanized after breaking into West Yellowstone home

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