National Park crews said to be "devastated" after rare white grizzly bear, cubs, killed in separate traffic collisions

Grizzly bear roaring
Temporary traffic laws enacted in the area last month failed to save the three bears (Image credit: Getty)

A rare white grizzly bear has died after being struck by a vehicle on the Trans-Canada Highway on the same day her two cubs were killed in a separate incident.

Just weeks ago, we reported that Parks Canada had announced a temporary no-stopping law along a 10 km stretch of the highway in Yoho National Park as well as a reduced speed limit after the white bear and her new cubs showed up in the area to feed on spring dandelions. 

The sight of the bear is so unusual that it draws visitors hoping to get a glimpse – and a photograph – of the bear, known affectionately as Nakoda. Nakoda's sister was struck and killed by a bear in the area in 2022 and officials were hoping to spare her from the same fate.

However, on June 6, Nakoda's two cubs were hit by a vehicle and killed. Then, according to the Calgary Herald, just 12 hours later Nakoda darted onto the road.

“The bear was startled by a train and ran into the road in front of two vehicles. One vehicle was able to swerve and avoid a collision, but a second vehicle was unable to react in time and struck the bear,” the agency said in a statement.

Nakoda initially survived the collision and was observed by wildlife officials scaling a fence and running into the forest. However, two days later Parks Canada staff received a mortality alert from the bear's GPS collar, which is transmitted if there has been no activity detected in 24 hours. Parks Canada reports that Nakoda had succumbed to internal injuries sustained in the accident and say they are "devastated" by the news.

“Parks Canada is working hard to make roads safer for wildlife and continues to remind visitors of the importance of not stopping to view wildlife.”

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.