Written by 14:05 World

Rare White Grizzly Dies After Being Struck on Canadian Highway

A white grizzly bear known as Nakoda became a popular presence on social media since she first appeared in public near Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies in 2020. Her frequent roadside appearances endeared her to visitors, who were enchanted by her rare blonde coat and the black streak running up her back.

But that fame came at a cost, according to members of Parks Canada’s regional wildlife management team, who saw a vehicle strike Nakoda on the Trans-Canada Highway in Yoho National Park in British Columbia on June 6. She was confirmed dead on Saturday, likely from the injuries she sustained, according to the team.

Her two cubs, born this past winter, were struck and killed hours earlier on the same highway, Parks Canada said.

Officials believe that Nakoda gradually became habituated to humans since she first found social media fame, causing her to be less wary around people and highways. She often ventured near roads despite efforts by wildlife management officials to keep her away. The team members, who knew Nakoda as Bear 178, began tracking her in 2022 after she learned to climb the fence by the highway.

Since 2022, the wildlife management team had trapped Nakoda and moved her away from roadsides three times. Also in 2022, Parks Canada instituted a no-stopping zone and reduced the speed limit on a section of the Trans-Canada Highway to discourage people from slowing down to photograph her and other wildlife.


Last modified: 12 June 2024