The Alberta Wilderness Association says the deaths of two grizzly bear cubs hit by a train over the weekend — highlights the need to reduce human intrusions in grizzly habitat.

"Things like fencing in high movement high grizzly bear movement areas is certainly one thing that could be done," said Sean Nichols, with the Alberta Wilderness Association.

The yearlings were killed Friday night, just west of the Banff townsite.


This photo of the sow and her two cubs was taken the same day the deaths occurred. (Parks Canada)

Nichols says there are only 60 grizzlies left in Banff National Park and more needs to be done to protect them.

"Anytime humans and grizzly bears come into contact it usually ends up worse for the grizzly that's certainly the case when you've got roads, railways, power lines and cutlines going through their territory," Nichols said.

Breanne Feigel says Canadian Pacific Railway is in the middle of a five year study with Parks Canada on how to reduce the number of bears killed on the tracks.

"We are looking at why bears may be on the tracks or not on the tracks at any given time in the year. And we're really hoping that we can prevent incidents like this from occurring in the future with this kind of research work," Feigel said.

Canadian Pacific says its trains go anywhere from 40 to 70 kilometres an hour through the national park - depending on the area.

CP says this is the first incident of bears being killed by a train in the national park this year.


This photo taken in May 2012 shows the mother and her cubs using one of the Trans-Canada Highway wildlife underpasses. (


This grizzly bear cub died on Friday after being struck by a train in Banff National Park. (