One of Canada’s toughest grizzly bears lives in Alberta and according to Parks Canada, he has officially woken up from hibernation. After months of sleeping, grizzly bear “The Boss” is awake and ready to do what he does best: be one of the toughest, meanest, and biggest grizzlies in Canada. He is so tough that not even a train can take him down. Literally, one has tried.
Grizzly bear No. 122 is a sight to behold. Though his formal name is No. 122, most of you may know him as The Boss.
While The Boss sounds like an epic Sopranos character, it's actually a 15-year-old grizzly.
This massive furball lives in the Banff, Yoho, and Kootenay national parks and he is not one to be messed with.
After months of winter hibernation, he was spotted on March 21. With bears like The Boss waking up, spring must be on the way.
A Parks Canada manager spoke with The Bow Valley Crag & Canyon about The Boss, stating that the middle-aged grizzly is father to many of the park's young ones. What a player.
Upon waking up, food and mating are his number one priorities. And when you're that big, you need fuel.
When we say this is one of the toughest and meanest bears in Canada, we mean it.
He was once hit by a train. Or a few times? Reports are conflicting.
Yes, a full-blown steel train hit that big boy and he walked away as if nothing happened.
CBC News reported that he was struck by the train several years ago but despite this, he still frequents railroad tracks.
Upon waking up from hibernation this year, he was even spotted on the tracks. This must be what people mean when they say to face your fears head-on.
The National Post spoke with Steve Michel, human/wildlife conflict specialist with Banff National Park, who stated that getting up after being hit by a train showed his dominance and “willingness to utilize habitats that are heavily developed by humans.”
Michel also noted that it was remarkable the grizzly was still alive due to how often he uses transportation corridors like train tracks and highways.
While data has shown that he uses wildlife crossing areas in Banff, he does go back and forth along Highway 93S, which is not fenced the entire way.
Michel noted that since 2000, 11 grizzlies have been killed on highways with another 14 dying on railway tracks.
Collar data has shown researchers that the train-fighter is very active and covers more than 2,500 square kilometres of area, mostly along the three national parks in addition to heavily used highways and train tracks.
But just because he spends lots of time on roads doesn’t mean people don’t come across him.
In August 2013, the Sundance Canyon area was closed after a group of hikers came across the furry road warrior feeding on a carcass.
He didn’t show any aggression towards the people and instead, let out a huff to show he would not be interrupted.
Although national parks are now closed, anyone who is in the area is always encouraged to use caution.
Last summer, a group of bikers in B.C. were chased by a bear for over one kilometre while on their mountain bikes. While the one chasing the bikers was not our railway hiker, it was still scary and the entire thing was caught on video.