CALGARY — A mother grizzly and her two yearling cubs were involved in a tragic incident on the railway tracks through Banff National Park this week, resulting in the death of two of the animals.
Parks Canada officials say a train on the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks struck an adult female and her cubs at Mile 84.3, near the town of Banff on June 24.
Wildlife officials were immediately dispatched to the scene and confirmed that the female bear and one of the cubs were killed. The second cub, which was uninjured, was found a short distance away.
“The bear is believed to be grizzly F130, which was known to be in the surrounding area and had cubs in 2020,” officials said in a statement. “Bear F130 did not generally frequent high human use areas. It appears that the bears were moving along a narrow corridor on the railway while foraging for natural foods.”
This is the first confirmed incident where a grizzly bear has been killed by a train in 2021. They are also the fifth and sixth mortalities on the railway running through the park in the past decade.
“Bear-train collisions pose a complex problem, with no single solution. Parks Canada cannot eliminate the risk of grizzly bear train collisions along the rail corridor. However, through targeted research-based measures, the Agency aims to reduce the overall risk of grizzly bear mortality on the railway. Parks Canada and Canadian Pacific Railway work closely to identify and act on solutions to reduce the risks to wildlife from railways.”
Parks Canada officials say the third bear is moving through the area and is being monitored by staff.
Given its age and size, officials say it is expected to have a good chance of survival on its own.
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