Grizzly bear and yearling cub killed by train in Banff National Park

A mother grizzly and her cub were killed by a train in Banff National Park June 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

A mother grizzly and one of her female yearling cubs were killed Thursday after being hit by a CP Rail train just west of the Banff townsite.

These are the first confirmed grizzly railway deaths of 2021.

Parks Canada says a second cub wasn’t hurt. The national agency is monitoring it but says given its age and size, the orphaned bear has a good chance of survival.

The mother is believed to be grizzly F130, who staff said didn’t generally spend time in areas with lots of human traffic. It’s thought the bears were following a narrow corridor of the tracks as they foraged for food.

Nakoda, Banff National Park’s white grizzly. Courtesy: Bow Valley Network

Parks Canada says there is no single solution for eliminating bear and train collisions, but adds it’s working with CP Rail to reduce the risks to wildlife.

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Several mitigation projects are underway to save animals, including improving wildlife corridors near the deadliest spots along the rail line, and using prescribed fire and forest thinning to enhance grizzly bear habitat away from the tracks.

Six bears have been killed by trains in Banff National Park in the last 10 years.

Click to play video: 'Massive grizzly bear killed on Transcanada Highway'
Massive grizzly bear killed on Transcanada Highway

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