Parks Canada officials devastated to report white grizzly, known as Nakoda, has died

Parks Canada officials devastated to report white grizzly, known as Nakoda, has died
Parks Canada officials devastated to report white grizzly, known as Nakoda, has died

اخبار العرب-كندا 24: الاثنين 10 يونيو 2024 05:24 مساءً

After hopes that Bear 178 would walk off her injuries and survive the car crash that left the grizzly limping, the bear affectionately known as Nakoda has died in Yoho National Park, Parks Canada officials confirm.

On the evening of June 6, as wildlife management staff were repairing fencing along the Trans-Canada Highway, they attempted "to encourage the bear to spend time away from the roadside," read a Parks Canada statement. Bear 178 was then reportedly startled by a train, causing her to run onto the road in the path of two vehicles.

"One vehicle was able to swerve and avoid a collision, but a second vehicle was unable to react in time and struck the bear," said a Parks Canada spokesperson.

The incident occurred approximately 12 hours after the bear's two cubs were struck and killed on the highway early that morning.

After the bear was hit, wildlife managers saw Nakoda climb a fence and run into the woods with a slight limp. On Saturday, June 8, the bear's GPS collar sent a mortality signal, and the wildlife management team confirmed the bear's death, suspecting she had "succumbed to internal injuries related to the collision."

The bear was known for her agility, striking platinum blonde fur with a dark stripe along her back, and frequent roadside sightings, especially in the spring and early summer when dandelions line the Trans-Canada Highway ditches.

Nakoda's frequent roadside visits made the bear popular on social media, but parks officials said it also made her too comfortable with humans.

This meant bear 178 was one Parks Canada's wildlife management team spent countless hours managing, work that entailed following the bear from dawn to dusk.

"The team has developed a strong fondness and connection with GBF178 and her death has been devastating for the team that was so deeply invested in trying to prevent this outcome," read the statement.

Two bear cubs were killed along the Trans-Canada Highway after being hit by a car.

Two bear cubs were killed along the Trans-Canada Highway after being hit by a car. (Jason Leo Bantle)

Over the years, Nakoda's climbing and road-side antics required many interventions.

In 2022, she was relocated within her home range because of the time she was spending near the highway and near train tracks.

A year later, Parks Canada put up 15 kilometres of electric wiring on fences west of Lake Louise into the Yoho park boundary, partially to stop the white bear from climbing over.

In 2024, bear 178 was spotted in Yoho with her cubs, frequenting the highway again. Parks Canada implemented a no-stopping zone and speed reduction to help keep the grizzly and her young safe.

"While Parks Canada is working hard to make roads safer for wildlife, we must once again emphasize to visitors of the importance of not stopping to view wildlife, driving cautiously and obeying speed limits," read the statement.

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