Parks Canada says they will not be relocating a grizzly bear that approached three people in Banff National Park over the weekend.
The three hikers were on the Cascade Trail near Mount Norquay when they were chased by a female grizzly — known as Bear 148.
“I was terrified, that’s for sure,” Kenzie Campbell said Tuesday, remembering the encounter.
“We just ran up on a bear — we were about 20 feet away and we walked away, but the bear comes charging, comes closer to us.”
The hikers’ dog, Momo, is being hailed with saving their lives, after she chased away the bear.
“[Momo] actually chased the bear away from us and then came back to us,” Campbell said. “I know that’s not usually how it’s supposed to go with grizzly bears, but it worked in this case.”
Parks Canada says the six-and-a-half-year-old bear has had hundreds of encounters with humans in the park, all without serious consequences, therefore, she won’t be relocated.
“She will do bluff charges to protect her space or indicate she needs some room, then she typically wanders off or heads off in the other direction,” said Bill Hunt, from Parks Canada.
Parks Canada says this encounter doesn’t warrant a warning, because “she moved through the area,” and nothing is tying her to the particular location.
The hikers say the bear followed them to the parking lot from the trail they’d been hiking on, leading them to get into a Parks Canada truck to be safe.
The hikers took video while sitting in the Parks Canada truck, and in it the grizzly can be seen strutting back into the woods nearby.
“That bear just chased us!” they can be heard saying. “That bear just chased us through the woods. We’re in a Parks Canada truck right now.
“And this little dog right here, saved our life!”
They say Momo was on a leash while they were hiking, which is required by Parks Canada, but they took her off the leash when the bear continued to approach them.
Last month, Parks Canada issued a warning after a grizzly bear followed a woman kick-sledding with her two dogs in Canmore.
Parks Canada recommends you always travel in groups in the mountain parks, and that you carry bear spray.
— With files from Global’s Gary Bobrovitz