Famous white grizzly bear dies after tragic chain of events

A famous white grizzly bear has died after being struck by a vehicle in British Columbia’s Yoho National Park – just hours after her two cubs were struck and killed on the same highway.

The collisions occurred June 6 on the Trans-Canada Highway in an area where roadside fencing was under repair.

The momma bear, nicknamed Nakoda and scientifically cataloged as GB178, was declared dead June 8 after her GPS collar issued a mortality signal. Parks Canada announced the bear’s death on June 10.

Nakoda with her cubs. Handout photo: Parks Canada

“It has actually devastated the team that was so deeply invested in really trying to prevent this outcome,” Saudi Stevens, a parks wildlife management specialist, said during a news briefing.

According to CBC News, Parks Canada employees were attempting to shoo Nakoda from the roadside when she was startled by a train and ran onto the highway and into the path of two vehicles.

“One vehicle was able to swerve and avoid a collision, but a second vehicle was unable to react in time and struck the bear,” a Parks Canada statement reads.

Nakoda was last seen running toward the woods with a limp and scaling a fence. It was hoped that she had not suffered serious injuries.

Stevens continued: “So many staff are actually working hard to make roads safer for wildlife and we really want to emphasize to visitors the importance of not stopping and lingering to view wildlife, to drive cautiously and to obey the speed limits.”

Nakoda was easily identifiable because of the platinum-blond coloration of her fur. She was known to appear in roadside meadows and ditches each spring to feast on wild dandelions.

She and her new cubs were only weeks out of hibernation when the vehicle strikes occurred.

–Top image showing Nakoda feeding on dandelions is courtesy of Gary Tattersall

Story originally appeared on For The Win