At approximately 8 p.m. (MT) on Friday, September 29, 2023, Parks Canada Dispatch in Banff National Park received an alert from an inReach/GPS device indicating a bear attack. The alert location originated from within Banff National Park, in the Red Deer River Valley, west of Ya Ha Tinda Ranch. Parks Canada immediately mobilised a Wildlife Human Attack Response Team whose members are specially trained in responding to wildlife attacks. Weather conditions at the time did not allow for helicopter use, and the response team travelled through the night to the location by ground.
The response team arrived on-site at 1 a.m. and discovered two deceased individuals. While in the area, the response team encountered a grizzly bear that displayed aggressive behaviour, leading Parks Canada staff to euthanize the bear on-site to ensure public safety. Sundre RCMP arrived at 5 a.m. to assist, and the victims were transported to Sundre, AB. This is a tragic incident, and Parks Canada wishes to express its sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims.