Calgary

No-stopping zone set up on highway at Alberta-B.C. border to protect bears, including white grizzly

Parks Canada has established a 10-kilometre, no-stopping zone to protect bears — including a rare white grizzly — that are feeding along the Trans-Canada Highway.

Rare white grizzly and other bears feeding along 10-km stretch of Trans-Canada

A 10-kilometre, no-stopping zone will be in place on the Trans-Canada Highway to protect bears near the Alberta-B.C. boundary. (Brian Spreadbury/Parks Canada)

Parks Canada has established a 10-kilometre, no-stopping zone to protect several bears — including a rare white grizzly — that are feeding along the Trans-Canada Highway.

The zone, which will be in place until the bears move away from the highway, runs from near the Alberta-British Columbia boundary to Field, B.C.

The white bear was spotted in Alberta's Banff National Park earlier this spring and recently moved west into Yoho National Park in B.C.

There is fencing that prevents wildlife from crossing the highway through Banff, but similar fencing hasn't been installed in Yoho.

Concerns have been raised about the 3½-year-old bear because people have been getting too close to it to try to get photos.

A rare white grizzly is shown in Banff National Park in this undated photo. A wildlife photographer is worried about a rare white grizzly in the mountain parks after watching people get too close to it and seeing it run across the highway. (Jason Bantle/Canadian Press handout)

Officials say the no-stopping zone will allow the bear, its brown-coloured sibling and several other bears in the area to feed undisturbed and prevent traffic congestion.

Similar measures have been put in place to protect wildlife in Jasper National Park in Alberta.

Officials there have issued a notice of restriction that requires visitors to stay in their vehicles when viewing wildlife on roads.

They said it will be in place until at least July 9 to give bears and other wildlife the space they need.

Both measures could lead to charges, which range from a $115 ticket to a mandatory court appearance and a maximum fine of $25,000.

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