Bear death at Yoho National Park prompts more crackdown

According to the British Columbia Highway Patrol and Parks Canada, multiple crashes involving bears in a British Columbia national park earlier this month sparked a crackdown on drivers in the area.

In a news release Thursday, the BCHP said the federal parks agency contacted it in early June « after a number of bear encounters on Highway 1 east of Field BC » in the national park. Yoho.

A Parks Canada spokesperson told CTV News via email that three bears were struck and killed on the same stretch of highway over a six-day period, June 7-13.

The first collision occurred in the early morning hours of June 7 near the Lake O’Hara parking lot, according to Parks Canada. The bear – a young female grizzly – is believed to be around five years old and was the sibling of the well-known white grizzly in Yoho National Park.

After the initial crash, Parks Canada implemented a reduced speed limit to 70 kilometers per hour between West Louise Lodge and the bottom of Field Hill. The agency also established a non-stop zone and strengthened law enforcement in the area.

The second collision occurred on June 11, killing an adult male grizzly that had attempted to mate with the female bear killed earlier in the week.

The second accident led authorities to reduce the speed limit to 50 km/h, according to Parks Canada.

On June 13, the third collision killed an adult male black bear.

Following the series of crashes, according to the BCHP statement, officers from both agencies launched an « enforcement and education campaign. »

« The stretch of highway is popular with black bears and grizzly bears at this time of year due to the abundance of high-value food sources found along the highway, » police said in their statement. .

« Unfortunately, this puts the bears at risk of contact with motor vehicles and often results in injury or death to the bears. »

During the week of June 13, BCHP officers and Parks Canada wardens issued 80 speeding tickets and seized four vehicles. They also convicted a person for flying a drone in a national park.

“Parks Canada stresses the importance of obeying reduced speed limits and driving with caution in the early morning and evening,” the agency said. « Do not stop if you see wildlife on the side of the road, especially along the Trans-Canada Highway. Please report any wildlife sightings on the roads or any wildlife incidents to the Parks Canada dispatcher at 403-762-1470. »


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