Grizzly hit and killed by semi-truck the 1st human-caused death in Banff in 5 years
Speed isn't believed to have been a factor
A grizzly that was struck and killed by a semi-truck Tuesday in Banff National Park is the first human-caused death of a grizzly in the park in five years.
Resource conservation manager Bill Hunt said at approximately 12:20 a.m., an unmarked adult male grizzly was hit on Highway 93 South, about a kilometre south of the TransCanada.
"It was actually the semi driver that called it in, which we're really pleased that he took the time to stop and notify us. Sometimes people are worried that they're in trouble or they're too shocked from the accident," said Hunt.
"We don't believe that speed was a factor. It was just an unfortunate accident."
Hunt said Parks Canada staff are working to identify the bear that was hit through DNA, and that they suspect it was a bear that was handled during radio collaring research to study railway mortality and grizzlies several years ago.
"The last mortality of a grizzly bear in Banff was in 2014 and that was a highway mortality as well," Hunt said. "It's certainly something we work very hard to prevent."
On that occasion, a young collared male bear was hit and killed on the Icefields Parkway.
Hunt said it's important drivers stay below the 90 km/h speed limit as wildlife do sometimes end up on the roadway — and that preventing a collision could save human lives as well.
With files from Lucie Edwardson