MD OF BIGHORN – RCMP is investigating after a 59-year-old man was found dead near Waiparous Creek in what is believed to have been a fatal animal attack.
The victim is believed to have been a man from the Waiparous area. There was some indication the animal was a bear.
At 11:57 p.m. on Tuesday (May 4) Cochrane RCMP received a report from the wife of a missing man who was overdue from his hike near the Moss Trail area.
Police responded and enlisted the help of Calgary Police Service’s HAWCS helicopter unit and RCMP Police Dog Services.
At 2:14 a.m. the HAWCS helicopter spotted the missing man’s body adjacent to Waiparous Creek.
“Just after 2 a.m., our HAWCS helicopter had indicated that they had located somebody adjacent to the Waiparous Creek. We sent in our ground units who located the male about 15 minutes later. We haven’t positively [identified] him, but we have tentatively [identified] him as our missing 59-year-old male from Waiparous,” said Cpl. Troy Savinkoff of the Cochrane RCMP.
Given the nature of the death, Fish and Wildlife officers have been brought in to help determine exactly what type of animal may have been responsible for the attack.
“There seems to be some indication that it could have been a bear. That hasn’t been positively identified yet. Fish and Wildlife did come in and they will be working closely with the medical examiner to determine what that cause might be,” Savnikoff said.
Savinkoff said that these types of attacks are rare, but he has seen several of them during his tenure with the Cochrane RCMP.
“I’ve been in Cochrane for quite a while and I can think of a couple of instances like this. It’s not super common, I would say it’s a little more common in Kananaskis area itself,” Savinkoff said. “We’ve had a few of them over the years. We’ve had some close calls as well, with some aggressive animals and stuff, but not too many where it’s the cause of death.”
The Moss Trail area has been closed to foot traffic while the investigation continues.
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