A young couple had to fend off a bear attack over the weekend after what conservation officers believe to be a juvenile male black bear tried to get into their tent.
“We had a minor bear attack, fortunately there were only minor injuries,” said Conservation Officer Dan Bartol.
On Saturday morning a young couple, who had recently moved from Quebec, were camping on the BC Hydro access road located part way up Kicking Horse Trail on the way to the ski hill. At roughly 7 a.m. the young woman noticed something was moving around, and realized that a bear was trying to get into the tent. It lunged at her, and bit her hand, but they were able to fight it off.
The bear returned several times, but was finally gone long enough for the couple to pack up and leave in their vehicle. They went to the hospital, but no treatment was needed.
“Usually we can pinpoint an attractant, or some reason that the bear would be hanging around,” said Bartol. “But in this case we don’t see anything obvious.”
There were no attractants accessible on the site, and Bartol says the couple was knowledgeable and experienced.
“Just like with humans, sometimes a bear acts unpredictably. It happens,” he added.
There have been efforts made to locate and capture the bear since the incident, with no success. Given that the attack was roughly one kilometre from the main road, and close to the Golden Cycling Club’s trails, the conservation officers have been trying to get the word out that there is a bear in the area.
The cycling club put information on their website, and have posted signs along the trails.
Even though the couple did not do anything specifically to attract the bear, Bartol says that people need to be particularly careful in this area.
“You are in bear country,” he said. “There’s lots of information out there to help you be prepared.”
He says to make sure that you have bear spray readily available (the couple had bear spray with them on Saturday morning, but couldn’t get to it because it was in their car), keep your campsite clean, don’t keep any attractants outside or in the tent, and don’t cook near the tent.
If anyone has any questions, or would like to report a bear sighting, you can contact the conservation office through the RAPP line, 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP).