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

Kerry Park’s new goalie is perfect in VIJHL debut

Charles-Olivier Lepage shuts out high-powered Storm

Longtime resident and business owner Garry Bruce running for Duncan city council

I have been a resident in the City of Duncan for more than 60 years

Double heartbreak for Cowichan Capitals at BCHL Showcase

Caps edged in OT one night, give up winner with 4.5 seconds left the next day

Alison Nicholson is ‘committed to community’ in bid for re-election to Area E

Mission is to work with you to build community where there is an opportunity for everyone to prosper

Penelakut Tribe threatens legal action on freighters

Lack of consultation cited by Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP MacGregor

VIDEO: Tour de Rock rider says event provides badly needed support

Cancer survivor and volunteer firefighter Nicole Emery speaks about importance of fundraising tour

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Island man calls 911 after being robbed of his drugs

Nineteen-year-old and 15-year-old suspects face multiple charges following robbery Monday in Nanaimo

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Most Read