They Were Likely Reading in Tent When Grizzly Attacked

Relative identifies the victims as Doug Inglis and Jenny Gusse
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2023 3:00 AM CDT
Updated Oct 5, 2023 12:30 AM CDT
Married Couple Killed by Grizzly Bear in Banff
   (Getty Images / USO)
UPDATE Oct 5, 2023 12:30 AM CDT

The couple killed by a grizzly bear in Banff National Park on Friday had been together since their university days, a relative tells the CBC of Doug Inglis and Jenny Gusse, both 62. Describing them as "highly, highly experienced in being out back," Colin Inglis says the two communicated updates to him via their Garmin inReach—and on Friday came the terrible one: "Bear attack bad." He said it's thought the bear attacked the couple as they read in their tent; it was found crushed and they were outside it. Colin Inglis says he was told an empty canister of bear spray was found at the scene, and it appeared "there was a struggle and the struggle didn't stay in one place." The couple's food had been properly hung, per Parks Canada, which says the bear was not known to them and had lower than normal body fat considering the time of year.

Oct 2, 2023 3:00 AM CDT

Two people were found dead early Saturday after a grizzly bear attack in a remote area of Canada's Banff National Park. The New York Times reports a satellite device issued an alert to Parks Canada around 8pm Friday, but the weather conditions wouldn't permit a helicopter response. A team traveled overnight by land to the Red Deer River Valley some 80 miles northwest of Calgary, Alberta. They arrived at 1am to find a grizzly bear still on the scene and displaying "aggressive behavior." It was euthanized.

While the victims haven't been named, the CBC speaks to a friend who described them as a married couple who "were very used to going out into the backcountry." The friend said their dog was also killed and told the Times, "They were in a very remote area." A rep from Alberta Forestry and Parks had this to say to CTV News: "During the fall, bears are preparing for hibernation and the risk of surprise wildlife encounters increases. Bears are focused on drinking and eating as much as possible, making them less alert and less aware of their surroundings. Surprise encounters can be extremely dangerous for both bears and humans."

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CTV News offers a list of tips for those headed to bear country, including to keep bear spray accessible rather than in your backpack and to avoid areas where food sources are present, such as berry patches and beehives. It's believed roughly 700 grizzly bears live in Alberta, with about 10% of them in the park. The Red Deer and Panther Valleys have been closed until further notice. (More grizzly bear stories.)

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