ALBERTA

Grizzly Eats Black Bear In Banff National Park

08/22/2013 12:02 EDT
Parks Canada

A small black bear met his demise on a popular Banff hiking trail earlier this month, after he was devoured by one of the park's largest grizzlies.

Officials closed the Sundance Canyon area in Banff National Park earlier this month after a grizzly bear was spotted by hikers feeding on a carcass, reports the Calgary Herald.

Thought to be bear No. 122, one of the largest known grizzlies in the park, the 600-pound male was feeding on a small black bear he had killed.

"There's evidence on the site that the black bear was foraging on the edge of the trail, prior to being consumed by this grizzly bear," Steve Michel, a human/wildlife conflict specialist with Banff National Park, told the Calgary Sun.

"It looks like a situation where the black bear was in the wrong place at the wrong time as a much, much larger grizzly bear came by."

And while it's only the fourth documented case of a grizzly eating a black bear, according to the Rocky Mountain Outlook, this is the second kill of its kind in the past year for bear 122, who also ate a black bear near Mount Norquay last September.

Michel told the Outlook it's a situation that probably occurs quite often, but because not all bears are fitted with radio collars it is hard to track where and when they happen.

Michel says the grizzly likely made short work of the small bruin, who, based on paw-size estimates, weighed between 100 and 150 pounds.

“I don’t think there would have been much of a brawl that took place," he told the Herald.

“It would have been fairly quick.”

The feast lasted two days before the bear moved on.

The Sundance Canyon area re-opened yesterday.

UPDATE - 3:10 p.m. - Apparently this big grizz is still hungry. The Calgary Herald is reporting bear No. 122 is currently working on an elk carcass in the Marble Canyon area. The area has been closed and officials have evacuated 12 backcountry users from the area.

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