Parks Canada says its officers are and will be closely monitoring a black bear after it killed a dog that jumped out of a car window in Jasper National Park last week.
“Parks Canada can confirm that a dog did not survive an encounter with a bear last Wednesday evening after escaping from a car which had pulled over on the side of the road to view the bear,” Parks Canada said in a statement issued to Global News on Monday. “After escaping, the dog harassed the bear by approaching and barking at it.
“The bear responded defensively towards the dog as it would to any other predator and unfortunately the dog did not survive the attack.”
On Friday, Parks Canada issued a statement on Jasper National Park’s Facebook page in which it confirmed the basic details of the fatal attack “with heavy hearts.”
“It is clear that this dog was under control until it escaped from the car through an open window,” the post reads. “Our condolences go out to the pet owner involved in this incident.”
According to Parks Canada, human-wildlife conflict specialists responded after the attack and retrieved the dog. They said the bear did not respond aggressively to either them or the dog’s owners.
Safety is a top priority for Parks Canada and the agency would like to remind visitors that they share the surrounding habitat with wildlife.
“Bears near the roadside and highways are common in Jasper National Park at this time of year,” Parks Canada said. “(We remind) visitors and those driving through our special places to practice safe wildlife viewing and to always have your dog on a leash while within the mountain national parks.”
Watch below: (From November 2016) David de Meulles, a tour guide for North Star Tours, captured this incredible footage showing a polar bear petting a sled dog affectionately on its head in Churchill, Man.
Parks Canada said it is illegal to have a dog off-leash in mountainous national parks and warn dogs pose a threat of pursuing or provoking wildlife that can not only endanger dogs, but also present a threat to its owners if it draws a wild animal to them.
If a park visitor’s pet is attacked by a wild animal, Parks Canada says they should not put themselves at risk by trying to rescue their animal. Instead, they can call Parks Canada’s human-wildlife specialists at 780-852-6155.
Parks Canada offers the following tips for safely viewing wild animals from a vehicle in its parks:
-Pull safely out of traffic
-Remain in your vehicle
-Move on after a few minutes
-Keep pets secured when viewing wildlife
For more information, click here.