CANMORE, Alberta – A grizzly bear attacked and killed a woman jogging on a popular hiking trail near this Canadian Rockies resort town, just days after authorities moved the animal from another neighborhood for threatening humans, authorities said Monday.
Isabelle Dube, 36, a competitive mountain cyclist, was running with two friends on the trail outside Canmore, about 55 miles west of Calgary in the mountainous western province of Alberta, when the bear attacked Sunday.
Dube climbed up a tree and the friends ran to a nearby golf course for help, said Cpl. Brad Freer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. By the time rescue workers got there, the grizzly had somehow gotten Dube down from the tree and mauled her to death.
Fish and wildlife officers later shot and killed the animal.
Dube, a substitute French teacher originally from Cap-St-Ignace near Quebec City, leaves behind a 5-year-old daughter, authorities said.
The same 200-pound, 4-year-old grizzly was removed from a residential area just over a week ago, said Donna Babchishin, a spokeswoman for Alberta Sustainable Resource Development.
The bear was relocated after approaching Canmore resident Niki Davison, who was photographing wildflowers. It was tranquilized, fitted with a radio collar and flown by helicopter to an area inside Banff National Park.
Davison told CBC TV that the grizzly followed her and her basset hound for 10 minutes but did not attack.
“I heard something crashing behind me; when I looked up I realized it was a grizzly,” said Davison. “When I realized it was a bear, it was kind of like your nightmare come true. I gathered my things and grabbed my dog and just backed up slowly.”
In recent years, environmentalists have fought for wildlife corridors on the outskirts of the community of 13,000, where resort golf courses and mountain chalets have expanded into prime wildlife habitat.
The trail Dube was on had been subject to a voluntary closure since April to protect a corridor designed to allow wildlife, including cougars and bears, to move between habitats.
“We’ve kept on pushing and pushing and pushing until the wildlife has been squeezed out,” said Nigel Douglas of the Alberta Wilderness Association. “At some stage, we have to say enough is enough.”
Canmore Mayor Ron Casey said balancing the need for animal and nature reserves with the growing demand by residents from Calgary looking for recreation space was becoming increasingly difficult.
“If we want to try to cohabitate with wildlife, as sad as these occurrences are, they are also a fact of where we live,” he said.
Dube was the first person killed by a bear in Alberta since 1998.
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