One of 3 bear cubs rescued from Banff washroom eaten by grizzly, officials believe
'Staff discovered her carcass when her GPS collar switched into mortality mode'
One of the three young black bears that had been rescued last year from a public washroom in Banff National Park and later released into the wild appears to have been eaten by a grizzly bear.
Conservation officers found the yearling's carcass after her GPS collar "switched to mortality mode" on Aug. 28 due to being stationary for 24 hours, Parks Canada said in a release Wednesday.
"Most of the bear was consumed. We were able to find the skull with a large puncture wound through the skull, which, you know, is indicative of it being a larger bear," said resource conservation officer Bill Hunt.
"It's certainly always a risk. Even bears that are still with their mother, yearlings, face that threat from larger male bears or grizzly bears."
The young bruin was killed in a thick patch of buffalo berries near the Clear Water River, Hunt said.
The trio of black bear cubs was found last April by a motorist at the roadside facility at the Vermilion Lakes turnout just west of the Banff townsite.
After an exhaustive search for their mother yielded no results, they were sent for rehabilitation to the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Muskoka, Ont.
After hibernating in Ontario, the three female bears were returned to the mountain park this spring.
"Surprisingly they separated from each other almost immediately, within the first day or so," Hunt said.
Parks Canada is still monitoring the GPS data of the other two bears and they're moving around landscape.
"And, given that it was a good berry year, we're optimistic that they're in good shape," Hunt said.
- MORE ALBERTA NEWS | Bear trap set in Glenmore Landing as officers aim to trap wayward bruin
- MORE ALBERTA NEWS | Accused animal abuser's bail revoked for allegedly breaching conditions
- Read more articles by CBC Calgary, like us on Facebook for updates, and subscribe to our CBC Calgary newsletter for the day's news at a glance