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Hikers injured in Waterton bear attack out of hospital, bear not yet located

Parks officials say two hikers injured in an Alberta bear attack last week are now out of hospital.

The attack happened in Waterton Lakes National Park on Tuesday, June 11, closing several trails and area campgrounds.

Parks Canada said the two visitors were scrambling up Ruby Ridge from Crandell Lake at around 2 p.m. when they encountered a bear.

The bear charged at them, injuring both.

“The injuries were bite marks and they were non-life-threatening,” said Rob Found, ecologist team leader – wildlife, in a June 12 statement.

The hikers used bear spray and the bear disengaged, which gave them time to leave the area.

Both were taken to hospital by ambulance in stable condition.

In an update posted to social media on Friday, Parks Canada said the hikers are recovering but the bear involved hasn’t been located.

Genetic testing has determined the bear was a male grizzly.

“A search of the area revealed a carcass of a bighorn sheep nearby. Both grizzly and black bears can be defensive when protecting a food source,” said a Facebook post.

“This is considered normal bear behaviour and could explain this attack.”

Officials say the bear involved was first identified, via genetics, in Waterton Lakes in 2007, and has not had any prior documented negative encounters.

Parks Canada says the closure of Crandell Lake and area is still in effect and likely will be for “at least a week.”

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