When Bears Attack

Comments 13 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Each year housing developments in the greater Vancouver region creep higher and higher up the side of the mountains, encroaching on wild animal habitats. Combine that with global warming and every other element under the sun and we have a clash.

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

The 25-year old Australian was bitten in the leg by a black bear as people crowded around the animal to get pictures. The tourist was lucky, according to the Province newspaper, because his injury was minor. The bear wasn’t so lucky. It managed to escape, but was shot the next day when it came back into the village. [News1130]

Nature and climates are changing and I’m certainly not the person to offer any expertise as to what solutions, alternatives and options there way be. However, I know bears are being shot and killed because of their contact with humans, and people are getting hurt. In many instances, common sense comes into play; don’t feed the bears, don’t leave your garbage out overnight, and don’t approach bears for cutesy photo opportunities.

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13 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Tyler IngramThursday, October 2nd, 2008 — 1:32pm PDT

    I had a black bear cub in my back yard one day. The conservation officers came and put it to sleep and relocated it. It was weird because the house was in a cul-d-sac with a fenced yard. So the bear somehow opened the gate, and got stuck in the back yard. The house was also about 3 blocks from the Coquitlam River and like 20+ blocks from any uninhabited parts so the little cub had quite the journey!

    I’ve seen tourists get up really close to Raccoons and try and take photos or go and pet them. Oh yea really smart! I saw one lady egg her little child (couldn’t have been more than 7 or 10yrs old) into petting it while the Raccoon was on it’s hind legs snarling.

    As for me I won’t get close to Raccoons but my 300mm lens can! lol

    It surprises me sometimes when I see tourists get close to bears on the road to try and get photos of it. The bear could freak out and just charge and there isn’t much you can do!

  2. Miss604Thursday, October 2nd, 2008 — 1:35pm PDT

    Yeah, raccoons I don’t get – and the “beware rabid wildlife” signs in Stanley Park a while back didn’t seem to deter anyone 😛

  3. RobThursday, October 2nd, 2008 — 1:44pm PDT

    I think it’s silly to expect a bear not to behave like a bear, particularly when you force the bear into a photo op.

    It’s always with a measure of pathos that I’ve observed wild animals in the environs of a suburb. My mum lives in North Van, just at the foot of Mount Seymour. There was a family of bears that frequented her neighbourhood – a mother and her three cubs. Apparently, they scoured the neighbourhood garbage skips because of the diminishing supply of berries further up the mountain (don’t really have all of the details about why there are less berries – must do some reading…).

    The last time she was spotted, she was very sickly, and with only two of her cubs, a terrible sight in that she was a lustrous black when I’d personally seen her. And also, I can only assume that the third cub is dead. I don’t know much about bears, and their life expectancies in the wild. But, I’d be interested to know how a changing diet might affect it, forced as they seem to be to supplement their intake of naturally growing vegetation with the contents of garbage skips.

  4. pdjwaThursday, October 2nd, 2008 — 1:44pm PDT

    Relocation doesn’t work so well apparently. They are too smart and just come back. We had a lot of bear encounters this summer. I personally think they are pretty smart. I saw a bear open our screen door before coming in. I’ve heard of people also seeing bears open car doors. But even tho we kept food inside (dog food in the freezer), no compost, etc the reality is that human living does encroach on their world. The conservation officers finally had to react after a momma bear ripped a window out of our kitchen wall to come in, and unfortunately we were home sleeping… “Unfortunate” for the bear as our bear was one of the 4 shot in the same week as the Coquitlam bear…

  5. IanivThursday, October 2nd, 2008 — 1:44pm PDT

    I was attacked by a penguin once while posing for a photo…

  6. Miss604Thursday, October 2nd, 2008 — 1:47pm PDT

    @ Ianiv – did it get shot or tranquilized and relocated? 😛

  7. ColleenyThursday, October 2nd, 2008 — 3:22pm PDT

    We use to have our direct routes to Jr. High blocked by police as the damb cougars were sunning themselves on our track. Made for a long roundabout way to get to school. That was in Port Coquitlam in the late 80’s, early 90’s.

  8. Tyler IngramThursday, October 2nd, 2008 — 7:09pm PDT

    @Colleeny I remember a few years ago when there was a Cougar wandering around the streets in Hammond (Maple Ridge) and no this was type that is in the feline category.

    To go from the mountains in Maple Ridge south down along the Fraser River is a really long trek, especially for a cougar.

  9. DonThursday, October 2nd, 2008 — 7:40pm PDT

    I got attacked by a bear at the Pumpjack one night. He was big and furry and smelled like stale beer. Fortunately he too was soon asleep and was relocated to a dark spot under the pool table. Bear attacks can happen anywhere!

  10. Cinci CsereFriday, October 3rd, 2008 — 4:43pm PDT

    We get lot’s of tourist stopping in the middle of the highway (Sea to Sky) to take pics of bears next to the road. I find it so frustrating!

  11. PatZSaturday, October 4th, 2008 — 12:19pm PDT

    I think tourists kind of miss the meaning of ‘wild’.
    One year when I was a kid we were camping in Glacier National Park there was a black bear off to the side of some road and a whole bunch of people stopped to ooh and ahh, then some idiot gets the bright idea to cover her kid’s face with honey and send him out over to where the bear is so it can lick his face and she can take pictures.
    I’m pretty sure stupidity like that deserves to be mauled…

  12. mom604Saturday, October 4th, 2008 — 3:21pm PDT

    I remember a story in the news a few years ago when an idiot parent covered its child’s hands in honey and sent it over to see the bear for a photo. The bear actually bit the kid’s hands off. Unfortunately, this is a true story.

  13. daveSunday, October 5th, 2008 — 7:17pm PDT

    is that woman stupid? geeez

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