The damaged front of the car that hit grizzly bear 164 on the Trans Canada Highway near Canmore on July 18.
The area was closed as a precaution and officials continued to keep an eye out for the grizzly. Three days later, he was seen walking around in the bush with a slight limp.
They were advised by a veterinarian to wait about two weeks before capturing him. On Aug. 16, they were able to shoot him with a free-range tranquilizer dart and get a much closer look at him.
“He was in great shape with no sign of visible external injury,” Paczowski told Global News.
“I was expecting to see some sort of scarring or maybe some broken ribs or broken bones.”
Bow Valley, a dangerous spot for bears
Paczowski said the Bow Valley and the Trans-Canada Highway are a dangerous place for both grizzly and black bears — a lot of them die each year due to collisions with cars.
He said he was “quite astonished” to see this one was able to walk away from the collision seemingly without even a scratch.
“I think it kind of speaks to the toughness and resiliency of the bear,” Paczowski said.
In addition to the rarity of examining a grizzly that survived a car crash, the Alberta Parks team were also able to fit Bear 164 — who had nearly doubled in size since first being collared in May 2016 — with a new GPS collar.
Alberta Parks staff examine grizzly bear male 164 and replace his radio collar Aug. 16, 2017
Paczowski hopes the data from that collar, which sends information every 30 minutes, will give them a better understanding of how the bear, and other wildlife, live in the Bow Valley.
Bear 164 isn’t a frequent visitor to the valley, and Paczowski said the grizzly doesn’t make himself visible around communities, though he is often spotted on the side of the road eating vegetation.
Where does Bear 164 wander?
Here’s a map showing where Bear 164 roams in and around the Bow Valley, compiled from data gathered through his radio collar:
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