Canada Jasper National Park-A black bear was “destroyed” over the weekend after the animal confronted two hikers on a trail and killed one of their dogs in a predatory act, officials said.
The attack occurred around 4 p.m. Saturday at the Alberta park in the Canadian Rockies, as two hikers and their two dogs were returning to the trailhead on Wabasso Lake Trail, according to Parks Canada.
The dogs were running freely between the hikers when they noticed a black bear had approached the trail, officials said. One of the dogs chased the bear off the trail a short distance, but the bear turned around and reversed the chase.
The 202-pound male bear closed within a couple of feet of one of the hikers and the second dog – which was standing and barking – and attacked the dog, officials said.
A hiker sprayed the bear with bear spray at close range, but the animal did not release the pet. The hiker then struck the bear in the face with the bear spray can, but still could not get the animal to release the dog.
The bear then carried the dog into the woods. Officials confirmed that the dog did not survive the encounter.
“This close and aggressive approach by a large black bear is very concerning behavior,” parks officials said. “The attack on the dog and subsequent caching of the carcass indicates predatory behavior.”
Officials said that this type of behavior is considered a threat to public safety. As a last resort, human-wildlife conflict specialists located and “destroyed” the bear on Sunday.
Other means to deter bears from popular areas include hazing followed by trapping and relocating the animal. However, because the bear showed no fear or reaction to bear spray or punches, officials determined the animal had become highly habituated and could remain a safety risk.
“This non-typical behavior indicates a highly habituated bear and increased the likelihood of further negative interactions,” officials said.