Grizzly bear suffered for days after being hit by vehicle in Banff National Park

For the second time this month a grizzly bear has died in Banff National Park as the result of a being struck by a vehicle.

Female yearling had to be euthanized after she was found limping up Sunshine access road

For the second time this month a grizzly bear has died in Banff National Park as the result of a being struck by a vehicle. (Brian Spreadbury/Parks Canada)

Parks Canada says a one-year-old grizzly bear from Banff National Park had to be euthanized this weekend after being hit by a vehicle. No one had reported hitting a bear, and the female grizzly, who was discovered dragging itself up Sunshine Road, may have been suffering for several days. 

Banff's resource conservation manager, Bill Hunt says there were reports 10 days earlier of bears walking along the Trans-Canada Highway in Banff, but no one reported hitting one. 

"The fence along the Trans-Canada Highway through Banff helps deter wildlife from accessing the highway, but it is not impermeable," Hunt said. "Motorists still need to respect speed limits and be extremely cautious on all roadways."

Hunt asks that anyone who spots, collides with, or has a near miss with wildlife report it to the park as soon as possible. Another grizzly bear was killed after being struck by a semi-truck in Banff earlier this month. In that case, the driver did report the collision.

"Reporting when people do see wildlife on the highway is helpful. Our staff quickly respond in those instances," Hunt said. "We put up additional temporary signage to alert motorists to slow down, and so that can often prevent a collision. And then like I say the fences are designed … with integrated gates into the fence so we can open those swing gates."

Hunt says in this case staff did open gates for the bears, and two of them — a mother and another yearling — have since been spotted uninjured on the right side of the fence. 

It is believed the injured bear suffered for 10 days prior to being found.

With files from Lucie Edwardson


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