Black bear breaks into lunch boxes, picnic baskets on B.C. beach

Conservation officers say the animal is unusually aggressive and goes right up to people

A hungry black bear has been kicking up a fuss on a Metro Vancouver beach, leaving conservation officers concerned about what the animal might do next.

Conservation officer Eric Tyukodi said the bear has been hanging around White Pine Beach in Port Moody’s Belcarra Park since Thursday.

“It’s been eating right out of people’s lunch boxes and picnic baskets with people right beside them,” said Tyukodi. “A woman was sunbathing on the beach and the bear came right up behind her and started eating her food.”

Half a dozen parks staff and conservation officers tried to chase it away, but it was “very nonplussed about us yelling at it.

“I was physically pushing coolers and barbecues away from it.”

Tyukodi said the animal finally moved once he ran and yelled at it.

Black bears don’t typically attack people, and bears aren’t uncommon in the region’s wilder areas, but this particular one is much more aggressive and food-habituated than most.

“Literally thousands of people use this beach. Everyone was sitting there, making noise and it was still coming towards us looking for food,” Tyukodi said.

He’s worried someone will get too close or try to scare the bear off, angering it or backing it into a corner. “Bears are just like people: they want their personal space.

Conservation officers have a trap set for the bear on White Pine Beach, which has been closed to vehicles.

The focus is on getting the bear away from the beach and then they’ll see if it can be relocated safely.

Although pedestrians are still allowed in, they can’t bring in food.

The bear was spotted near a pier recently, and another one, although perhaps it was the same one, was seen wandering around Port Moody.

Tyukodi, who’s headed there again Monday afternoon to see check in on the animal, hopes people stay away it.

If you see a bear, “the number one thing is do not run. Don’t turn your back on it,” he said. “Definitely make sure the bear sees you. Wave your arms and back away slowly. No sudden movements.”

It’s important to not leave food unattended, to throw away trash in bear-safe bins, and to keep small kids and dogs close, and on-leash, anywhere in the wilderness, he said.

Sometimes, a dog can go chasing after a bear, “and then it comes back angry.”

If you see a bear where it shouldn’t be going, call the B.C. Conservation Officers Service at 1-877-952-7277.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Nelson childcare centre part of provincial affordable care pilot

The School House Early Care and Learning Centre is one of 53 sites chosen for $200 per month childcare

Nelson faces possible fines for recycling contamination

5.9% of blue bag contents are not recyclable

LETTER: Bear more responsibility

From reader Chris Dawson

Nelson’s Matti Erickson wins provincial gold in photo finish

The L.V. Rogers runner tied with another athlete

Castlegar’s Waterline property purchased; owners to protect it for rock climbers

New owners plan to subdivide, sell bluffs to recreational climbing group

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

California wildfire death toll hits 63

Sheriff says hundreds still missing in nation’s deadliest wildfire

Harsh storms have nearly tripled power outages in last five years, BC Hydro says

More frequent and severe storms have damaged Hydro’s electrical systems since 2013

Trudeau to meet key Pacific trade partners at APEC leaders’ summit

Canada became one of the first six countries to ratify the CPTPP

Judge orders White House to return press pass to CNN’s Acosta

U.S. District Court Judge will decide on White House press credentials of CNN reporter Jim Acosta

WikiLeaks chief could see charges, US court filing suggests

Charges against Julian Assange could help illuminate the question of whether Russia co-ordinated with the Trump campaign

Federal MPs denounce controversial Facebook post targeting Sajjan

Okanagan Conservatives apologize for controversial Facebook post

Canada has enough pipelines to get the moon

Pipelines totalling 840,000 kilometres run across Canada

Migrants streaming into Tijuana, but now face long stay

U.S. border inspectors are processing about 100 asylum claims a day at the main border crossing with San Diego

Most Read