Skip to main content

Grain-gobbling bears spark 'no stopping' zone in Banff National Park

A stock photo of a bear. (Unsplash/Becca) A stock photo of a bear. (Unsplash/Becca)
Share

A popular highway in Alberta's Banff National Park now has a 'no stopping zone' to help protect two bears.

Parks Canada say the 320-metre 'no stopping zone' will be in place on the Bow Valley Parkway between Baker Creek and Protection Mountain Campground.

The change is being implemented to assist the bears who have been "persisting" in the area along the railway track since April 2 to eat spilled grains.

"Photos and videos of the bears are circulating on social media and many visitors are travelling to the area in search of wildlife viewing opportunities," explained a Friday news release.

"Parks Canada has received and responded to a number of documented reports of bear jams, unsafe parking and people leaving their vehicles to approach the bears in the past 10 days."

Spokesperson James Eastham says the grain itself is too dispersed for Parks Canada to clean effectively.

They did attempt to use hazing to discourage the bears from spending time along the tracks, but their efforts proved unsuccessful.

The 320-metre 'no stopping zone' will be in place on the Bow Valley Parkway between Baker Creek and Protection Mountain Campground. (Parks Canada) Eastham says the bears can leave the tracks suddenly to avoid trains, causing them to move quickly toward the road, making it particularly unsafe for people outside of their vehicles.

"Space in the area is also limited and cannot accommodate a safe viewing distance of 100 metres between people and the bears," he said in a news release.

"The area also lacks a road shoulder to pull over onto and traffic flow is impeded by parked vehicles."

Kicking Horse Bridge reduced to single lane

Kicking Horse Bridge has been reduced to a single lane of alternating traffic after erosion damage was discovered. (Parks Canada) Parks Canada also announced on Friday that Kicking Horse Bridge had been reduced to a single lane of alternating traffic after erosion damage was discovered to a wing wall.

Delays in the area are expected until both the wall and riverbank are stabilized, a project expected to take two weeks. 

The bridge is located between Wapta Falls and Hoodoo Creek campground.

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

Air turbulence: When can it become dangerous?

Flight turbulence like that encountered by a Singapore Airlines flight on Tuesday is extremely common, but there's one aspect of severe turbulence an aviation expert says can lead to serious injury.

Stay Connected