A young grizzly bear has been euthanized after Parks Canada officials believe it was struck by a vehicle.

On Saturday, June 22; parks staff responded to a report of an injured bear on the Sunshine Road in Banff National Park.

“The bear, a yearling female grizzly bear was visibly limping due to a severe injury on its back right leg, but it was also unable to bear weight on its right front paw. Observations made by resource management officers on Saturday and early Sunday confirmed that it would be necessary to attempt to capture the bear for hands-on assessment of its injuries and state of health,” says Bill Hunt with Parks Canada.

Staff was able to capture and tranquilize the bear on Sunday to conduct a thorough examination.

“The veterinarian discovered the bear had suffered a severe open compound fracture on its right hind leg, as well as injuries to its right front leg. It was determined the injuries were too severe for recovery, and the animal was severely emaciated. The bear was then euthanized,” says Hunt.

There will also be a full necropsy to assess for other internal injuries.

Hunt says ten days earlier, Parks Canada received the report of bears inside the highway fence near the Sunshine interchange of the Trans-Canada Highway.  “Upon investigation, blood was observed on the Trans-Canada Highway, but no one reported a wildlife strike to Parks Canada. Staff did observe two bears inside the fence briefly at a distance and opened the gates to allow the animals to find their way back onto the safe side of the highway fence. There were no further reports at that time.”

It’s believed there is a health grizzly population in the area right now.

“The last female to die on the highway was in 2011,” says Hunt. “And so you know, that's many years with virtually no mortalities. But certainly losing a female ecologically is more significant than a male.”

This is the second grizzly killed this month in the park.