Two hikers and dog killed by grizzly bear in Canada – how to keep yourself safe

Grizzly bear at Banff National Park, Canada
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Two hikers and their pet dog have been killed by a grizzly bear at Banff National Park, Canada. In a statement, Parks Canada explained that its dispatch team received a notification from a GPS satellite communicator at around 8pm on Friday, and sent out a Wildlife Human Attack Response Team to investigate.

Poor conditions meant that the team couldn't deploy a helicopter, and by the time they arrived on the scene at 1am, they found that two people (a man and a woman) had passed away from injuries consistent with a bear attack.

The team tracked down the bear, which was displaying aggressive behavior, and decided to euthanize it for public safety.

CBC News reported that the deceased hikers loved the outdoors and were inseparable, according to a statement from a family member. 

"They lived for being in the backcountry and were two of the most cautious people I know. They knew bear protocol and followed it to a tee," the relative added.

Grizzly bear attacks are rare, but they do happen. As the New York Times reports, a grizzly attacked and killed a woman and her child in Yukon, Canada, in 2018. The animal was described as starving.

Keep yourself safe in bear country

Parks Canada warns that the Canadian Rocky and Columbia Mountains are home to both grizzly and black bears, and you may encounter one at any time while hiking in the area. The best way to keep yourself safe is to learn about bear behavior so you can avoid an encounter altogether.

"Let bears know you're there," say officials. "Call out, clap, sing or talk loudly especially near streams, dense vegetation and berry patches, on windy days, and in areas of low visibility. Bear bells are not enough."

You should also keep an eye out for signs of recent bear activity, such as dropping, tracks, turn-up logs and overturned rocks. If you come across a large dead animal (such as an elk or moose), leave the area straight away and inform a member of park staff.

For more advice, see our guides what to do if you meet a bear and wildlife safety: eight tips for unexpected encounters.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.