Camper recovering after bear attack at Conkle Lake Provincial Park
Published Thursday, July 14, 2016 6:29PM PDT
A Greenwood, B.C. woman is scratched up after a run-in with a bear at Conkle Lake Provincial Park on the weekend.
Rachel Lautard was walking at the park in Westbridge, approximately 130 kilometres southeast of Kelowna, when she encountered the bruin.
She was at the park with her husband, a friend and their dogs, but was walking alone when she saw her dog Badger running back toward her. The bear was running behind the pet. Lautard said she had bear spray in her bag, but didn't have time to reach for it.
"I turned around and I have an image of a dog running past and a bear running at me," Lautard told CTV Vancouver of the attack.
She said she doesn't remember details after that, but knew that at one point she was on her back with the bear standing over her.
"It was on top of me...I got my legs up and he grabbed ahold of my left lower leg and I just started kicking for all I was worth and screaming, 'Somebody help me, somebody help me,'" she said.
At that moment, something nearby distracted the bear, and she was able to get to her feet. Then her friend ran into the clearing carrying a jacket. He swung the coat at the bear, which eventually scared it off.
Following the incident, all the trails on the park were closed. Conservation officers are searching for the bear to ensure that another attack doesn't happen.
"We are setting up traps in the area to catch the offending bear," officer Ken Owens said.
Fortunately for Lautard, the friend with her at the park is also a doctor, and was able to monitor her injuries. He also had antibiotics with him, so Lautard was treated before leaving the lake.
Despite the encounter, Lautard said she plans to go back to the park when her wounds have healed. But next time, she plans to stick with the group and keep her bear spray handy as a precaution.