JASPER, Alta. – A black bear is being watched in Jasper National Park after it killed a dog that jumped out of a vehicle.
Parks Canada officials say the encounter happened on Wednesday when a car pulled over to the side of the road to view the bear and the dog jumped out of an open window.
“After escaping, the dog harassed the bear by approaching and barking at it,” they said in a statement. “The bear responded defensively towards the dog as it would to any other predator.”
The dog did not survive the attack.
Wildlife experts in Jasper park retrieved the dog and will keep an eye on the bear — despite it showing no aggression toward people.
“Bears near the roadside and highways are common in Jasper National Park at this time of year,” said the statement.
Park officers are reminding visitors to practice safe wildlife viewing and to keep their dogs on a leash.
“Having an off-leash dog is not only illegal in the mountain national parks, but it can increase the chances of an aggressive encounter with a bear, elk and other wildlife because a dog may be more prone to pursue and provoke — and also draw the wild animal to an owner.”
They added that visitors should never put themselves at risk by trying to rescue a pet in any encounter with wildlife.
Officials say people wanting to view wildlife along the road should pull safely out of traffic, stay in their vehicles, keep pets secure and move on after a few minutes.