Report of suspected break-in leads officers to 'massive' bear in Port Coquitlam
Published Thursday, September 5, 2019 9:51AM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 5, 2019 7:13PM PDT
When Kyara Nelson noticed RCMP officers in her neighbourhood who appeared to be going door-to-door on Tuesday night, she wondered initially if it had anything to do with a strange noise she'd heard at the back of her rented duplex on Flint Street.
“The noise kind of sounded like someone banging on the door, like a giant thud,” Nelson said.
She soon found out the culprit was a different kind of visitor.
Cpl. Michael McLaughlin with the Coquitlam RCMP told CTV News Vancouver a call came in around 9 p.m. on Sept. 3rd, from a resident who thought someone was breaking into her house.
McLaughlin said when officers arrived, they found a bear in a yard, which he said appeared to have been attracted by fruit and had broken a fence or gate. McLaughlin said officers also came to learn the bear had tried to get into another home in the area.
Nelson was not the resident who called police, but said she and her roommate were told to stay inside, and the bear was contained in their yard until a conservation officer arrived. She said at one point they saw the animal eating grapes from a backyard trellis, and added they later found their green waste bin tipped over.
“He was massive,” Nelson said.
“He was not scared at all. He was a pretty confident bear, I think.”
Conservation officer Chris Miller attended the call Tuesday night. He said the adult male black bear weighed over six-hundred pounds.
“I can say for sure it was the biggest black bear I’ve ever seen,” Miller said.
The animal was ultimately killed.
“It’s such a significant public safety risk at that point, when there’s bears coming up to people’s back doors to get into their green bins and their compost,” Miller said.
The conservation officer service says September and October are actually the peak of bear season.
“The biggest thing is securing attractants and keeping them ideally in a garage or a shed locked away,” Miller said.
Miller is also encouraging people to scare bears off with noise, and report sightings so preventative steps can be taken before a bear becomes too comfortable and begins posing a risk.