Alberta, Canada

Near Medicine Hat

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Alberta Canada (Class A) BFRO

August 1972

On September 2nd 1972 we were at Strathcona Island ark which is outside Medicine Hat, Alberta. About ten of us went to swim in the river [Saskatchewan River]. In the afternoon going back to the campsite I ran ahead of the rest down a winding path. I came to a stop when I smelled what I can only describe as a wet dog that rolled in a garbage dump for a couple of weeks. I then heard brush moving to my right. I turned and looked and saw a large black furry animal facing a Saskatoon patch. I could see the crack of its rear end sitting on the ground and its shoulders and pointy head leaned away from me. [In its sitting position it] was about 5 to 5 and a half feet in height and 4 feet wide at the shoulders, and about 30 feet away. Its fur was long and shaggy and oily. This thing just did not move at all, which going to Banff a lot and seeing black and grizzly bears, was not common. Suddenly a quiet grumbling chatter came from it, to which my brain translated it as get away from here. I turned and ran south, continuing down the trail. As I ran I could hear the thing smashing through the trees, with a smash, smash, smash sound. No one else heard or saw anything.

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