Canadian officials have killed a 204-pound black bear after it fatally attacked an unleashed dog on a trail as the dog’s owners watched in horror.
Authorities called the animal’s brazen attack ‘very concerning behavior.’
The terrifying ordeal happened on Saturday when a couple and their two dogs visited Jasper National Park in Alberta and allowed the canines to roam freely.
As the unidentified hikers and their dogs returned to the trailhead after the 4.8-mile trek along Wabasso Lake, a popular hiking trail in Jasper Park, they came ‘within very close proximity’ to the bear.
One of the dogs tried to chase the bear off the trail but the chase was quickly reversed as the animal went on the offensive.
One of the hikers tried to rescue their pet spraying bear spray and then using the can to punch the wild beast. The bear still managed to carry the dog into the woods.
Park officials later confirmed that the dog died. The bear was destroyed the following day by Parks Canada human-wildlife conflict specialists as it’s behavior was considered ‘a threat to public safety and a risk to park visitors.’
Park officials said destroying a bear is ‘a last resort,’ and that Parks Canada considers hazing first to deter bears, particularly in highly populated area, and will trap and relocate the animals.
But, in this case officials had to use extreme measure.
‘In this unusual and concerning encounter, the large 200 plus pound male bear, which had no identifying tags indicating previous interactions with Parks Canada personnel, displayed no fear or reaction to bear spray or punches.
‘This non-typical behavior indicates a highly habituated bear and increased the likelihood of further negative interactions.
Officials expressed their sympathy to the dog owners and issued a statement.
‘Our condolences go out to the pet owners involved in this incident,’ they wrote. ‘This is a sad reminder that all pets should be kept under control and on-leash at all times within a national park.’
The park welcomed more than 2.1 million visitors in 2021, according to Parks Canada with safety as their top priority.
They encourage those on a trail to ‘be bear aware,’ and offer additional tips when hiking which include putting pets on a leash at all times.
Additionally, to travel in groups and make noise. Carry bear spray, know how to use it and always be aware of surroundings and report any unusual bear behavior.
This article by Ruth Bashinsky was first published by The Daily Mail on 25 April 2023. Lead Image: Stock photo of a black bear in Boonton Township, New Jersey.
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