06/18/2013 03:13 EDT

Black Bear Dies On Banff Train Tracks


Parks Canada has confirmed the death of a black bear in Banff National Park, calling the loss "puzzling."

Parks officials discovered the 100-kilogram bear on June 15, after it was hit on the train tracks about four kilometres east of Banff townsite, reports Global News.

And while it's not unusual for a bear to be hit by a train, this bear's death does not share similarities with others' before him.

“There were no big piles of grain on the tracks and no indication the bear was feeding on anything,” Parks Canada spokesperson Michelle Macullo told the Calgary Sun.

“That stretch of track is really straight, with really great sight lines.”

According to the Calgary Herald, Parks Canada and Canadian Pacific Railway are in the midst of a five-year, $1-million study to help better protect bears from trains.

“June is a busy time for the bears: It’s mating season and they are trying to gain weight,” Macullo told the Herald.

“We’re hoping for a much better spring and summer this year.”

This is the first bear mortality of 2013.

In 2012, two black bears and two grizzlies were killed in the park — at least two by trains and one on the highway.

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