Couple and their dog killed in grizzly bear attack in Canada's Banff National Park

Bear sightings increase in the autumn as they become more active before hibernating

A grizzly bear near Beaver Lake in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. AP
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A grizzly bear attacked and killed two people and their dog in Alberta's Banff National Park, according to Canadian park officials.

The attack took place on 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 on Friday evening that indicated a bear attack was happening, agency spokeswoman Natalie Fay said in a statement.

A response team was hampered by bad weather and could not reach the site until early on Saturday, when team members found the bodies of a couple, whose identities were not immediately released.

The bear was later killed after it displayed aggressive behaviour, the agency said.

The victims were a Canadian couple and their dog, said Kim Titchener, the founder of Bear Safety and More and a friend of the couple.

Ms Titchener, who provides training on bear safety and assessments, told Reuters that such encounters are increasing as more people head outdoors, but fatal attacks are extremely rare.

“It's really just the reason why we're seeing more attacks, which is more people heading outdoors and unfortunately not being educated on this,” she said.

Ms Titchener said only 14 per cent of grizzly bear attacks worldwide lead to deaths.

Bear sightings increase in the autumn as they search for food before hibernating for the winter.

Banff National Park, which attracts more than four million tourists every year, is home to grizzly and black bears.

There are about 60 grizzly bears in the park. They are considered to be a threatened population in Alberta, Ms Titchener said.

Updated: October 03, 2023, 7:45 AM