2 killed by grizzly bear in Canada’s Banff National Park

A grizzly bear attacked and killed two people Friday in Banff National Park in Alberta, Canadian park officials said.

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Authorities did not immediately identify the pair, although a family member told CBC News they were common-law partners who were hiking with their dog. The dog was also killed, the news network reported.

“They were long-term partners who loved the outdoors and were inseparable,” the unidentified family member said in a statement obtained by CBC News.

“They lived for being in the backcountry and were two of the most cautious people I know. They knew bear protocol and followed it to a tee.”

Authorities said officials at Banff National Park got an alert on Friday night from a GPS device that indicated a bear attack had occurred. The alert came from the Red Deer River Valley area in the national park, west of Ya Ha Tinda Ranch.

A team trained to respond to wildlife attacks was dispatched to investigate. Officials said that weather conditions barred them from using a helicopter to get to the site. They traveled through the night and arrived at the area where the alert came from at 1 a.m.

Officials said the team found two people dead. They also found a grizzly bear “that displayed aggressive behaviour,” according to parks officials. The bear was euthanized “to ensure public safety.”

“This is a tragic incident, and Parks Canada wishes to express its sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims,” officials said in a statement.

The area has been closed as a precaution.

Experts say that deadly grizzly bear attacks are rare. About 14% of such attacks lead to fatalities, according to Reuters.

The deadly attack in Canada came weeks after authorities said they euthanized a grizzly bear linked to the death of a woman near Yellowstone National Park in July.

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