'Tragic': Two people dead after grizzly bear attack in Canada's Banff National Park

This Alaskan grizzly bear female and her cub were hanging around a spot on the the river outside Jackson Hole, Wyo.
(Credit: Mike Leggett/Special to American-Statesman, Mike Leggett/Special to American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK)
This Alaskan grizzly bear female and her cub were hanging around a spot on the the river outside Jackson Hole, Wyo. (Credit: Mike Leggett/Special to American-Statesman, Mike Leggett/Special to American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK)

A couple was killed after a bear attack in Canada's Banff National Park on Friday night.

In a statement, Parks Canada said it received an alert from a GPS device indicating a bear attack around 8:00 p.m. local time inside the park. The alert came from the Red Deer River Valley west of Ya Ha Tinda Ranch.

Officials said weather conditions did not allow for use of a helicopter, so the Wildlife Human Attack Response Team had to travel by foot. By the time they arrived to the area around 1:00 a.m., the couple was dead.

Kim Titchener, the founder of Bear Safety and More and also a friend of the couple, told Reuters that the couple's dog was also killed.

Team members euthanized a grizzly bear that was acting aggressively in the area near their bodies.

"This is a tragic incident, and Parks Canada wishes to express its sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims," the statement read.

The victims' identities were not immediately released.

Grizzlies, black bears found in Banff

Banff National Park, located in Alberta's Rocky Mountains is known to have both black and grizzly bears.

Last month, a grizzly and her cub followed a group of hikers for several minutes. It's unusual for grizzlies to approach groups of people on a trail, but the bears did not attack in this incident.

Last week, "The Boss," a large 650 pound grizzly bear known to have eaten a black bear and survive being struck by a train, forced some homeowners to cut down their fruit trees after it showed up several days in a row to munch on crab apples, CBC reported.

Titchener told Reuters that fatal attacks by grizzlies are extremely rare with only 14% of attacks worldwide leading to fatalities. While it's not clear what prompted this attack, Titchener said most bear attacks occur because of surprise encounters.

"It's really just the reason why we're seeing more attacks, which is more people heading outdoors and unfortunately not being educated on this," she told Reuters.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Banff grizzly bear attack: 2 dead; bear euthanized at national park