Woman killed in bear attack in Alberta

Alberta woman jogging along local trail killed by bear that had been captured earlier and relocated out of region

A woman jogging along a trail near Canmore, Alta., was killed on Sunday by a grizzly bear that had been captured and relocated out of the region a week earlier.

Isabelle Dube was running with two friends on a hiking trail near a golf course in the town located 90 kilometres west of Calgary. The group rounded a bend and saw the bear about 20 to 25 metres ahead of them, on the same path.

Dube chose to climb a tree but was pulled down by the 198-pound bear, said Dave Ealey, a spokesperson for Alberta Sustainable Resource Development.

Her two companions backed away slowly until they could no longer see their friend. They didn't see the attack, but could hear Dube shouting at the bear as they sprinted the almost half-kilometre distance to the clubhouse at the SilverTip Golf Course.

A wildlife officer, accompanied by one of the women, returned to the site of the attack, where the officer killed the bear with a single shot.

Bear relocated in May

Fish and Wildlife officials said the 90-kilogram, four-year-old male bear had been captured and moved out of the area at the end of May, after continually visiting the golf course and after it approached a woman. The woman and her small dog backed away slowly and the bear left.

The bear was relocated not because of any aggressive behaviour, but as a way of discouraging it from approaching populated areas, said Ealey.

With wildlife officers tracking it, the bear travelled from Banff National Park back to the Canmore area â€" about 15 kilometres over rugged terrain â€" in a few days.

Ealey said the bear hadn't shown any aggressive behaviours since it returned.

"The bear was not aggressive, it behaved as a bear its typical age and sex would," Ealey said when asked why the bear hadn't been moved farther away. The grizzly was kept within its home range, Ealey added.

Dube, 36, was married and had a five-year-old young daughter. She was a competitive mountain biker and she and a partner came third in a seven-day, 600-kilometre bike race last year.

Wildlife officials have sent the bear's body to an Edmonton lab to test for any unusual characteristics, said Ealey.

People who do encounter grizzlies should back away slowly and leave the area, he said. Running away could trigger the bear to attack. While grizzly bears can climb trees, it's not typical behaviour, said Ealey.