The following press release was sent out by Parks Canada on Friday, May 27:
Parks Canada warns motorists to slow down for wildlife. Fresh spring vegetation is attracting animals such as bears and goats to the side of the Trans-Canada Highway where they are vulnerable to being hit and killed by motor vehicles.
“It is always tragic when an animal is hit on the highway” says Sarah Boyle, manager of resource conservation with Parks Canada. “About two weeks ago we lost a male grizzly bear at the Laings* corner when it was hit by a motor vehicle on the Trans-Canada Highway in Mount Revelstoke National Park. It is really important to pay attention and slow down for wildlife.”
This week alone, Parks Canada staff observed a grizzly sow and cub grazing beside the highway at the Illecillewaet Glacier corner and a black bear and two cubs beside the Slide Path picnic area in Glacier National park. In addition, several mountain goats, including a very determined billy were spotted on the highway at the Lauretta* corner.
“We managed to chase the goats off the road, but the billy was not very cooperative,” says Kelsey Furk, Parks Canada resource conservation specialist. “He seemed determined to stay on the highway and I suspect will return soon. I hope drivers take caution around blind corners and respect speed limits.”
Parks Canada is committed to protecting visitors and wildlife and is working with the RCMP to enforce highway speed limits in the areas where wildlife are commonly found. In addition, they are working with the Ministry of Transportation to have “slow down for wildlife” messages posted on the electronic highway signs at the entrance to the parks and cautionary messages posted on the Drive BC website. Parks Canada recommends that all motorists obey posted signs, watch for wildlife especially at dawn and dusk when they are most active, and drive to road conditions.
*Laings and Lauretta corners are approximately 20 km east of Revelstoke and 4 km west of the Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk day use area.