Alberta Fish and Wildlife Enforcement made the below update on the bear attack fatality in Water Valley on their Facebook page on Sunday, May 30, 2021:
Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers have captured and positively identified the grizzly bear responsible for the fatal attack on a woman in Water Valley on May 25.
On May 29, Fish and Wildlife officers captured two large mature grizzly bears near the site of the attack, both of them mature females. One of the bears was lactating, but did not appear to be actively nursing due to the minimal volume of milk. Officers do not believe that she had cubs with her. The other bear is a mature sow that was not lactating. Her teeth are extremely worn, suggesting she is an older and post-prime bear.
Officers obtained DNA samples from both bears, which were analyzed and confirmed that the older female grizzly with the worn teeth was responsible for the attack. It also concluded that the bear was not the same animal involved in the fatal attack on a man in the Waiparous Village area earlier in May.
The bear that killed the woman was euthanized in accordance with the grizzly bear response guide (https://open.alberta.ca/publications/grizzly-bear-response-guide). This decision is never made lightly, and when it is made, it is to prevent more attacks by that particular bear. The second bear will be released at a to-be-determined location. All traps will be removed from the area.
However, due to the unusually large number of bears still in the area, residents are urged to observe bear safety rules and guidelines. Doing so will help keep everyone safe by avoiding human wildlife conflict and prevent a similar tragedy from occurring.
People can call Alberta’s 24/7 Report a Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800 to report any bear sightings or encounters.
Fish and Wildlife would like to thank everyone who assisted in responding to this incident, including emergency medical services and the RCMP.
For tips on how to prevent an encounter in bear country, visit https://www.alberta.ca/bears-and-outdoor-recreation.aspx
For information on the BearSmart program, visit https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-bearsmart-program-overview.aspx