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A Hiker Is Now Facing Charges After Allegedly Shooting A Black Bear In Jasper National Park

The injured bear hasn't been found.

Calgary Staff Writer
A black bear in a wooded area.

A black bear in a wooded area.

A hiker is facing several charges after their friend reported them for shooting and injuring a black bear in Jasper National Park over the weekend.

In a statement sent to Narcity, Parks Canada said the hiker was with someone else on Overlander Trail at around 1:30 p.m. on August 6. The pair came across a black bear around seven kilometres east of the trailhead at Sixth Bridge Day Use Area.

According to Parks Canada, the hiker fired a warning shot at the bear – which was 25 to 40 metres away – with a 20-gauge shotgun and the bear reacted but didn't run.

A second shot was fired, which hit and injured the bear, Parks Canada said. The bear then rolled down a short creek bank and out of view. The hikers left the scene immediately, they added.

The friend of the hiker called Jasper Dispatch to alert them to the shooting. Park wardens and Human Wildlife Conflict staff met the suspect at the trailhead where they were arrested, and charges were laid following an interview.

According to Parks Canada, the suspect was charged with "several counts under the Canada National Parks Act." However, the investigation is ongoing, and further charges and outcomes will be "determined by the courts at a later date."

It is still unknown how badly the bear was injured but a "quantity of blood" was found at the scene where the incident took place.

Parks Canada staff have been searching for the bear but have not located it. The area is currently closed for public safety, and there will be more sweeps of the area before the trail is reopened.

"Injured bears can be very aggressive when encountered in close quarters, so any further searches must be approached with extreme caution," Parks Canada added.

Carrying a firearm is illegal in Jasper National Park. Visitors to bear country should familiarize themselves with bear safety tips and make sure they carry bear spray, which is legal to use and "much more effective and reliable" than a firearm, Parks Canada added.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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