The death of a grizzly bear hit by a train in Banff National Park has conservationists saying more needs to be done to protect the animals. ((CBC))

A grizzly has been killed by a train in Banff National Park, renewing calls for new measures to keep the animals away from the tracks.

The bear was hit near Banff on Friday, possibly as it was eating grain that had spilled onto the tracks from passing trains, said Steve Michel, a human-wildlife conflict specialist with Parks Canada.

It's the sixth such incident in three years. 

"This is a huge concern for us. We're continuing to work as best as we can with [CP] to try and work towards some future solutions in the area," he said.

Limiting how fast trains are allowed to travel through the park and putting up more fences around the tracks are two options being considered, Michel said.


Bear 71 and her two cubs, photographed by a remote camera at Harvie Heights. The sow and one of the cubs were killed by a train in June, 2009.

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. has already taken steps to limit the amount of grain that spills from hopper cars, he added.

Alberta Wilderness Association spokesman Nigel Douglas called the grizzly's death — the second in about a month — unacceptable.

"It's getting to a really perilous state for grizzly bears generally in Alberta now. You intuitively think that the national parks are going to be a place where grizzly bears are relatively safe," he said.

"But it's becoming increasingly clear that the mortality levels, even in the national parks, are way too high."

The Alberta government designated grizzly bears a threatened species earlier this month in an effort to better protect the animals.