The Grizzly bear that killed two people in Banff National Park last week was identified as an older female bear, but not previously known to Parks Canada.
According to reports, a necropsy of the bear revealed that the non-lactating female, aged approximately over 25 years old, had lower-than-normal body fat for this time of year. The report also found that while the bear's body condition was considered fair, her teeth were in poor condition.
However, DNA samples that have been sent for testing will confirm whether the bear was responsible for the attack.
At approximately 8 p.m. on Friday, September 29, Parks Canada Dispatch in Banff National Park received an alert from an inReach/GPS device indicating a bear attack. The alert location originated from within Banff National Park, in the Red Deer River Valley, 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. Weather conditions at the time did not allow for helicopter use, and the response team travelled through the night to the location by ground.
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 that displayed aggressive behaviour, leading Parks Canada staff to euthanize the bear on-site to ensure public safety.
Sundre RCMP arrived at 5 a.m. to assist, and the victims were transported to Sundre.
"This is a tragic incident, and Parks Canada wishes to express its sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims," Parks officials stated.
An area closure is still in effect for the Red Deer and Panther valleys. The closure is from Snow Creek Summit east to the National Park boundary, and north to Shale Pass. According to the Parks Canada website, it is due to a 'grizzly bear in the area.'