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Orphan grizzly cub being monitored after mother fatally struck by truck

A female grizzly bear with one cub was struck and killed by a commercial transport truck on Highway 16 near the townsite last week. | Parks Canada photo

Peter Shokeir | editor@fitzhugh.ca

Parks Canada will monitor an orphan grizzly cub after its mother was struck and killed by a commercial transport truck on Highway 16.

The incident happened roughly five kilometres east of the townsite around midnight on June 16/17.

The affected driver, who was unharmed, called Parks Canada dispatch and remained on scene until help had arrived.

The orphaned bear cub was located the following morning and appeared to be doing well.

While Parks Canada staff will actively monitor the cub in the days ahead, the agency said the cub was likely old enough to have learned some of the skills needed to survive alone.

“When young bear cubs are orphaned through wildlife collisions, Parks Canada’s first approach is to leave orphaned bears in their home range,” Parks Canada stated in an update.

“Removing or relocating bears such as this is always a last resort. Removing wildlife from the landscape can have serious impacts on overall future bear populations and their viability, and relocating bears can increase the potential for conflict with other bears and reduce their chance of success.”

Parks Canada reminded the public that grizzly bears were a keystone species in mountain landscapes and protecting them was a shared responsibility.

“We rely on cooperation with visitors, residents and travellers through Jasper National Park to help protect these important animals,” the agency added.

Motorists are reminded to:

  • Obey posted speed limits at all times
  • Slow down in areas of traffic congestion or when wildlife is spotted
  • Drive carefully and alertly for wildlife
  • Adhere to park wildlife viewing guidelines and stay in vehicle in the presence of roadside wildlife

Report any serious or unsafe wildlife issues to Jasper National Park Dispatch at 780-852-6155.

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