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Grizzly bears in Alberta caught on camera chasing black bear away from dinner

Click to play video: 'Grizzly bears in Alberta caught on camera chasing black bear away from dinner' Grizzly bears in Alberta caught on camera chasing black bear away from dinner
WATCH: Video taken on July 7 showed several grizzly bears chasing a black bear away from their dinner in Alberta – Jul 15, 2018

An Alberta man came across a surprising sight last week when he discovered a black bear getting chased by some grizzly bears on an Alberta highway.

Jason Corrigal was travelling along Highway 40 between Grande Prairie and Grande Cache to go fishing on July 7 when he says he saw a black bear.

He said the day before, he had seen several grizzly bears eating an animal carcass.

“As I’m going down, I see a black bear cross the road to get to that carcass and I knew grizzlies were in the area,” Corrigal said. “So bells were ringing there to start videoing.”

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Corrigal didn’t immediately take video, instead opting to go do his fishing, but when he came back, the black bear was still there.

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The 29-year-old pulled to the side of the road and brought out his cellphone and began filming.

In the video, the black bear is seen eating when four grizzlies come out from the woods behind him. The black bear takes off and the four bears chase him, with two stopping a short time after while the other two continue the chase for a while.

According to Corrigal, the grizzlies eventually went back to the carcass while the black bear crossed the road to the side which he was parked.

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It was the first time he said he’d ever seen this type of encounter after living in the area for the past four or five years.

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“We’ve seen those grizzlies for the last couple years, so it’s like, ‘Oh, there’s those grizzlies again.’ But the black bear was in their territory. … It was pretty exciting,” he said. “It took my breath away, like a shot of adrenaline.”

He said that not seen in the video is that prior to the encounter, he saw a baby bear stand on its hind legs and the black bear didn’t notice him. Then five minutes later, the “whole family” arrived.

Senior wildlife biologist with Alberta Parks, Mike Russell, said the area has a high population of grizzly bears.

“The density there is among the highest in Alberta … that’s certainly an area that there’s a large population,” Russell told Global News.

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In the case of this incident, he said given the presence of the carcass, the bears’ reaction is not surprising.

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“Certainly around a carcass they’re going to be territorial and aggressive,” he said. “It’s hard to know what the nature of that moose carcass was … there’s an interesting ecosystem that kind of develops around them whereby the animals kind of dance around it, trying to get as much food as they can.”

Grizzlies are often known to “do well at this,” he said, because they’re “at the top of the size food chain.” However, it’s an unusual sight to see during the day.

Russell advised that the video is a reminder to respect bears’ behaviour and to carry bear spray if travelling through the province.

The video of the encounter between the two species of bears, which he posted to Facebook, has been viewed more than 725,000 times.

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