White Grizzly and Her Cubs Killed in Separate Car Crashes 12 Hours Apart


Sad news out of Canada this week as Nakoda, a rare white grizzly bear, and her two cubs died as a result of two separate collisions with moving vehicles. The two accidents occurred just 12 hours apart on the same road, the Trans-Canada Highway.

Early on Thursday morning, June 6, Parks Canada says it received a report that a car had struck and killed Nakoda’s two cubs. Nakoda or “GB178” was there too, and Parks Canada said wildlife officials hazed her to encourage her to go back behind the wildlife fencing.

That evening, wildlife-management staff witnessed a collision between Nakoda and a moving vehicle on the same highway. This collision happened about 12 hours after the one that killed the bear’s two cubs.

Parks Canada says staff members were there modifying the wildlife fencing in an attempt to keep Nakoda away from the road. Unfortunately, a train startled the grizzly and she ran onto the highway. “One vehicle was able to swerve and avoid a collision, but a second vehicle was unable to react in time and struck the bear,” Parks Canada reports.

The collision didn’t kill Nakoda immediately. Staff observed the injured bear climbing the fence and retreating into the forest. “Wildlife specialists were optimistic GB178 may have been able to recover from the collision, however unfortunately, the bear was confirmed deceased by the wildlife management team on Saturday, June 8th after investigating a mortality signal from the bear’s GPS collar,” Parks Canada says.

Internal injuries related to the collision likely caused the white grizzly’s death.

A ‘Devastating’ Loss

Parks Canada says: “[GB178’s] death has been devastating for the team that was so deeply invested in trying to prevent this outcome.”

For the past two years, the wildlife-management team has “spent significant time” managing the bear whenever she would venture close to the highway. They monitored her every move and relocated her away from the Trans-Canada Highway several times in 2022.

After electrifying the fence in 2023 to discourage Nakoda from climbing over it, Parks Canada says she largely stayed in the backcountry. However, this spring, wildlife officials once again observed the white grizzly and her cubs near the highway.

Sadly, despite all of wildlife-management officials’ efforts to keep them safe, the bear family crossed the road at the wrong time, twice.

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