Grizzly bear attack on solo hiker prompts closure of section of Kananaskis Country
Alberta Parks confirms a section of Elbow-Sheep Wildland Provincial Park in Kananaskis Country has been closed to the public after a hiker was attacked by a grizzly bear Sunday afternoon.
According to EMS officials, a 30-year-old man encountered a grizzly bear sow and her two cubs at around 1 p.m. southwest of the Highwood Pass and he was injured in the confrontation.
The man was retrieved from near the scene of the attack utilizing an Alpine Helicopters helicopter and airlifted to an awaiting EMS crew. He was then transported by ground ambulance to the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary in serious but stable condition for treatment of various soft tissue injuries.
Alberta Parks says the bear attack victim was a solo hiker.
An area of the park stretching west of Highway 40, between the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park boundary to the south and an unnamed ridge south of Running Rain Lake, is now off-limits to visitors.
Encounters with a bear in Kananaskis Country are possible at any time and Alberta Parks says hikers should take preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of coming face-to-face with a bruin, including:
- Travelling in groups and making plenty of noise;
- Watching and listening for any indication of bears in the area;
- Keeping pets on leash; and
- Carrying bear spray, ensuring it's easily accessible and that you know how to use it.
Bear warnings are currently in place for the following regions in the Highwood area in connection with Sunday's attack:
- Ptarmigan Cirque;
- Pocaterra Ridge;
- Picklejar Creek; and,
- Lantern Creek.
For the latest on closures and bear warnings in the area, visit Elbow-Sheep Wildland Provincial Park advisories.
All bear sightings in Kananaskis Country should be reported to 403-591-7755