Two dogs were being walked off-leash in Jasper National Park when the black bear attacked
A black bear attacked and killed a dog as it was being walked off-leash in Canada’s Jasper National Park on April 22.
Park rangers say two people were walking their dogs off-leash on the Wabasso Lake Trail when a black bear approached.
One of the dogs chased the bear off the trail before it reversed the chase. The bear then returned to the hikers and attacked the other dog that was standing and barking.
According to calgary.citynews.ca, one of the hikers sprayed the bear in the face with bear spray at close range, but the bear did not release the dog. Then the hiker hit the bear in the head with the can multiple times. But the bear still didn’t release the dog and carried it into the woods.
“This close and aggressive approach by a large black bear is very concerning behavior,” said Parks Canada. “The attack on the dog and subsequent caching of the carcass indicates predatory behavior.”
According to Parks Canada, human-wildlife conflict specialists closed the trails and destroyed the bear the next day.
“Destroying a bear is a last resort,” rangers said. “Parks Canada considers hazing first and foremost to deter bears from highly visited areas, and then considers trapping and relocation.
“In this unusual and concerning encounter, the large 204-pound male bear, which had no identifying tags indicating previous interactions with Parks Canada personnel, displayed no fear or reaction to bear spray or punches.”
Rangers say the bear’s unusual behavior indicates it was likely habituated and might have continued with negative interactions with people.
“Our condolences go out to the pet owners involved in this incident,” Parks Canada said. “This is a sad reminder that all pets should be kept under control and on a leash at all times within a national park.”
The trails have since reopened, but Wabasso Lake Trail is currently closed.
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