KANANASKIS COUNTRY, Alta — A bear cub was killed on the Trans-Canada Highway Monday afternoon just east of Highway 40, police said.
The bear cub was struck by a vehicle pulling a holiday trailer at about 3 p.m., RCMP Const. Patrick Lambert said.
The collision, which is close to the construction of the new steel arch wildlife overpass, led to eastbound traffic being slowed for more than an hour as Alberta Fish and Wildlife attended the scene, Lambert said.
It's unknown if the bear cub was a black bear or a grizzly. The Outlook has reached out to Alberta Environment and Parks and will update the story when we learn more.
Work began on a new steel arch wildlife overpass earlier this year and is expected to be completed in 2023. The aim of the project is to reduce collisions between vehicles and wildlife.
When completed, there will also be 12.5 kilometres of wildlife fencing to help direct animals to use the overpass.
The province has previously stated there are an average of 69 vehicle-wildlife collisions each year between Banff National Park east gate to Highway 40 on the Trans-Canada Highway.
A 2012 study by the Miistakis Institute and Western Transportation Institute recommended 10 sites in that 39-kilometre stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway for wildlife underpasses and fencing.
In Banff National Park, there are 38 wildlife underpasses and six overpasses in the span of 82 kilometres from the park’s east gate to Yoho National Park. The stretch of highway also has wildlife fencing on both sides to help reduce wildlife and vehicle collisions.
Alberta Environment and Parks have numerous bear warnings in areas such as Lac Des Arcs campground, Kananaskis Country Golf Course, Barrier Dam to Canoe Meadows and Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park.
A grizzly bear bluff-charged a cyclist May 12 in Kananaskis Country along Highway 40, just south of the winter gate closure in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.
A portion of the Bill Milne Trail between Kananaskis Country Golf Course and Mount Kidd RV Park is closed until further notice due to bear sightings.
Drivers are cautioned to always keep an eye for wildlife near the highway at all times.
People can report wildlife sightings by calling Alberta Parks at 403-591-7755.