Grizzly bear and cub killed by train near Banff

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A female grizzly and her cub were struck and killed by a train in Banff National Park on Thursday. (Submitted by Niels de Nijs - image credit)
A female grizzly and her cub were struck and killed by a train in Banff National Park on Thursday. (Submitted by Niels de Nijs - image credit)

A female grizzly bear and her yearling cub were struck and killed by a train on Canadian Pacific Railway tracks at mile 84.3, just west of the Town of Banff, Parks Canada said in a release on Friday.

It's the first incident where a bear has died from a train in Banff National Park this year, and the fifth and sixth confirmed grizzly deaths on the railway in the park since Jan. 1, 2011.

The adult bear had a broken ear tag and is believed by Parks Canada to be Grizzly F13, a bear known to be in the area.

"It appears that the bears were moving along a narrow corridor on the railway while foraging for natural foods," said the release.

Bear F13 was with her two cubs that were born in 2020.

The second yearling was later located and appears to be uninjured and moving through the area, though it is being monitored by Park Canada staff. Given its age and size, the orphaned yearling has a good chance of survival, said the release.

Bear-train collisions are a complex problem, according to Parks Canada, with no single solution.

It has several projects underway to reduce the risk that trains pose to wildlife, including improving grizzly habitat away from the railway and improving wildlife travel routes near mortality hotspots along the tracks.

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