Minor injuries in Squamish bear attack 

Black bear charged adult couple sitting on the steps of their home

click to enlarge Animal conflict: An attack on two adults by a black bear (not the one shown in photo) in Squamish resulted in minor injuries.
  • Animal conflict: An attack on two adults by a black bear (not the one shown in photo) in Squamish resulted in minor injuries.

Two adults suffered minor injuries after a medium-sized black bear attacked them in the yard of a residence in the Garibaldi Estates in Squamish.

The couple — a man and a woman — were sitting on the steps of their home at the time of the attack on Thursday, Oct. 6 and received cuts and bruises.

The Conservation Officer Service (COS) responded to the call and set a bear trap, though the bear remains at large.

COS described the attack as territorial in a social media wildlife alert put out by the District of Squamish.

Vanessa Isnardy, the Squamish community co-ordinator for Wildsafe BC, said the conservation officer who followed up told her the bear charged the two.

"They didn't have a lot of time to react," Isnardy said. "It wasn't defensive because they weren't doing anything to antagonize the bear. It is unusual, but we are seeing a lot of bear activity in the community. We are seeing 15 individual bears that we know of that are active in Squamish, so there have been a lot of sightings."

She added there were 161 black bear reports in 2014, 153 in 2015, and 297 in 2016.

"It's a very busy black bear year, and a lot of them are around fruit trees," Isnardy said.

Bears need up to 20,000 calories per day to prepare for hibernation. Many have been drawn into residential areas by fruit trees and unsecured garbage.

Territorial behaviour can occur at this time because fruit trees are no longer producing fruit and there is more competition for limited food sources, the post added.

The COS recommended that caution be used on trails and that children be supervised at all times. Garbage and organic totes should be stored indoors, and any fruit remaining on trees should be harvested.

More information on bear safety and reducing conflict can be found on www.wildsafebc.com.

The COS asks that all bear sightings be reported by calling 1-877-952-7277.

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