Video shows black bear taking a quick swipe at a hiker in Coquitlam, B.C.
COQUITLAM, B.C. -- Conservation officers have closed the upper portion of a popular Coquitlam trail after a black bear approached a hiker and took a quick swing at her leg.
The encounter happened Saturday near the summit of the Coquitlam Crunch.
A hiker started recording on their phone when they noticed the black bear. The hiker provided the video to CTV News and wishes to remain anonymous.
The video shows a black bear walking up to a young woman who remains still. Using its paw, the bear quickly swats her leg.
It backs away a couple of steps before approaching the woman again. Seconds later, the woman manages to run away.
It doesn’t appear like she was seriously hurt.
Austin Lord of the BC Conservation Officer Service describes the encounter as unusual, adding it appears the animal may have been seeking food.
“We believe that this bear has been habituated by people and may have gotten food rewards from people in the past,” Lord says. “So, it may have walked up to that person, and thought possibly it could get a food reward. It didn't get one and gave this person a shove.”
Since the bear made physical contact with a person, the trail has been closed to allow conservation officers to look for the bear in question, according to Lord.
He says a trap has been set and a decision on the bear’s fate will be made at a later time.
Advice for surprise bear encounters
Lord says if anyone sees a bear in their neighbourhood or while hiking, the best thing to do is make lots of noise and, typically, the bear will go away.
If the bear is in an area first, then it would be best to back away slowly, he adds.
He also suggests people carry bear spray while in bear country.
To prevent unwanted bear encounters, Lord says residents with fruit trees should pick their fruits as soon as they’re ripe and pick-up windfalls so bears won’t be attracted to the home.
Another food attractant to be aware of is bird feeders. Lord says it is not necessary to put out bird feeders in the summer as birds already have plenty of food during the season.
For more tips, visit Wildsafe BC.