Monitored bear kills local runner 0
The Bow Valley was reeling Monday as news spread throughout the valley -- and across the country -- that a Canmore woman was dead following the first fatal grizzly attack in Alberta since 1998.
Isabelle Dubé was running on trails near SilverTip Golf Resort with two friends at about 2 p.m. Sunday when the trio stumbled across Bear 99, a 198-pound grizzly that was trapped and removed from the area only a week before.
As Dubé climbed a tree, friends Maria Hawkins and Jean McAllister headed for the nearby golf course for help. Fish & Wildlife officials arrived shortly after and were led to the scene by McAllister.
When she returned to the golf course with three mountain bikers who had been riding the same trail, the two women collapsed in tears into each other?s arms with the news their friend and fellow athlete was dead.
Dubé, 36, had a young daughter and was an accomplished athlete who competed in elite mountain bike races like 24 Hours of Adrenalin and the TransRockies Challenge.
?I don?t know if this could have been prevented, but if it could have then it should have been,? mountain biker Cameron Baty said Sunday afternoon while waiting to provide a statement to police. Baty was biking with fellow Canmore residents Ari Carriere and Brent Rosveld about a kilometre west of the SilverTip clubhouse when they came across the grizzly and immediately doubled back, not realizing it had already attacked and killed Dubé.
?We went about 100 yards away and were hanging around a little bit, looking through the bush to see if we could see anything or hear anything. We started riding away and we ran into (Fish & Wildlife officials) about 300 yards away,? Baty said.
The officers instructed the men to remain with them as they returned to the scene. When the bear saw the group, it ran a short distance and stopped before being shot dead by a Fish & Wildlife officer, Baty said.
Bear 99 was spotted several times on the course two weeks ago and was removed from the area after it followed Canmore resident Niki Davison while she was hiking near the Cougar Creek area.
Before being airlifted to Carrot Creek in Banff National Park, the grizzly was fixed with an ear tag and a GPS collar, allowing officials to track its movements. The bear was previously unknown to local Fish and Wildlife officials and believed to be about four years old.
One week after its removal, Bear 99 returned to the SilverTip area, where wildlife specialists monitored it since Saturday morning, prepared to scare it with rubber bullets and a trained Karelian bear dog if it came into populated areas.