Conservation officers have set up a trap to catch a bear that walked into a North Shore home over the weekend as they warn about a spike in bear sightings over the past two weeks.

The big black bear that entered through the open front door of a house in North Vancouver and rummaged through the food pantry Friday evening is well known in the neighbourhood.

Local resident Janie Fitzpatrick thinks it may be the same one that often visits her home.

“Normally when he comes over to our house it’s about four in the morning, knocked over the garbage can,” she said.

“He’s quite big, he’s brownish black and he looks older.”

Yoskyl Webb was talking to her neighbour at his front door Friday when he spotted the creature inside his home.

“He turned and looked back into the house, and I guess he knew that he was alone, or he thought he was until he looked back and said, ‘There’s a bear in the house,’” she explained.

“He came out and shut the door and went across the road to the neighbours and asked them to dial 911.”

When police and conservation officers arrived they tried to figure out how to catch the bear. But the animal devised its own escape by climbing onto a window, pushing out its screen and running out through the backyard.

The bear left a pile of mangled food and a frightened neighbourhood behind.

“It’s very scary. I leave my back window open all the time, my back sliders doors, and I’m thinking now I maybe should be closing them,” Fitzpatrick said.

Neighbours also sympathize with the creature.

“It smells the smells of food and wants to walk in. It’s not actually invading; it’s just trying to survive like we all are. You really can’t blame the bear for walking into an open door,” Webb said.

Webb is familiar with bears, particularly because her husband Tony Webb heads up the North Shore Black Bear Network.

“He probably wouldn’t even know he was going into a building. So when he's in the house, ‘Hey, there's some food in here,’ he's just following his nose. He's not in there to eat people,” Tony Webb said.

“My message is don’t leave doors open or ajar.”

The door of the live trap is open and conservation officers will put down the bear if it is caught.

With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Shannon Paterson