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First grizzly spotting signifies early start to spring

A 500 pound grizzly bear was first seen near the Bow Valley Parkway, 20 Km Northwest of Banff, Sunday evening.

When he was spotted, the bear was lying near CP Rail tracks,

The bear is no stranger to officials with Parks Canada, he goes by the name of “1-2-2”.

“122 is a bear that was last seen in the Bow Valley,” says conservation officer Mike Grande. “He’s one of our biggest bears.”

Initially Parks Canada was worried that the massive bear may have been hit by a train but now believe the bear was simply having a snooze.

“He was walking normal, I didn’t see him limp or anything,” Grande says. “Anyone that survives this long, to grow this large, clearly is fairly savvy at managing railways and roads like the Bow Valley Parkway here.”

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Larger bears usually wake up mid-March, smaller ones and those with cubs can sometimes wait as long as June to come out of their slumber.

The smaller bears will usually linger around valley bottoms where there is less snow.

“Resources are still going to be scarce, so they’re going to be roaming trying to find whatever they can.”

A warning to those trying to catch a glimpse of the grizzlies though, they will be hungry.

Parks Canada is suggesting that now is the time to make sure that anyone traveling in the area is equipped with bear spray.