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

Anglers furious over VIP fishing trip

DFO, SkeenaWild both investigating legality of FN research licence to fishing party

Kool-Aid Man bails on Terrace and Kitimat mayoral race

Says he has accomplished goal of raising electoral awareness

Terrace Northmen earn third place in rugby provincials

The two-time reigning champs took home the bronze medals this year

Interest high for local elections in Terrace and area

City council, regional district and school district seats contested

Open burning bans lifted in northwest B.C.

Only campfires are allowed within Terrace city limits

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

A B.C. society helps to reforest Crown land after wildfires

Forest Enhancement Society of BC focuses on wildfire mitigation and the reforestation

B.C. marijuana workers may face U.S. border scrutiny

Cannabis still illegal federally south of the border

New political party holds an informational session in Vernon

Maxime Bernier’s The People’s Party of Canada draws about 2o interested patrons to Vernon pub.

B.C. MLAs reminded of rural school struggles

Finance committee hears of falling enrolment, staff shortages

B.C. VIEWS: ’Not photo radar’ coming soon to high-crash areas

ICBC deficit now largely due to reckless and distracted driving

Most Read