07/23/2014 06:21 EDT | Updated 09/22/2014 05:59 EDT

Elk Island National Park Cameras Capture Elusive Black Bears (PHOTOS)

Alberta Innovates

Elk Island National Park is one of the best places to catch a glimpse of bison up close, but not many of the park's 200,000 visitors each year get the chance to see a bear. 

Wildlife researchers set up cameras in the park in the hopes of capturing photos of smaller animals. Instead, they got photos of black bears roaming the park, which is about 35 kilometres east of Edmonton. 

The cameras are part of the Moraine Mesocarnivore Project, a community effort put together by Alberta Parks in collaboration with Alberta Innovates, the Friends of Elk Island National Park and Beaver Hills Initiative. 

Martha Allen, Elk Island National Park’s ecologist, said although it’s uncommon to see bears in the park, it’s not unprecedented.

“We weren’t surprised,” she said. “We normally get one or two bear sightings every year in the park.”

Visitors are more likely to see bison, moose, deer and elk.

Also on HuffPost

Photo gallery Bear Selfies! See Gallery