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Warning issued after another bear enters North Vancouver home

Third such incident in less than two weeks, says B.C. Conservation Officer Service
Black bear that enetered home
A black bear stands outside a woman's home in North Vancouver after first entering her kitchen on July 9, 2021.
Conservation officers and bear awareness groups are warning the public to be extra careful when it comes to managing bear attractants and open doors after another bruin accessed someone’s home in North Vancouver on Friday (July 9), the third such incident on the North Shore in less than two weeks.

The incident occurred around noon in the Montroyal area, after a woman walked into her kitchen to see a young black bear had entered into her house through an open back door.

“There was food accessible,” noted Luci Cadman, executive director of the North Shore Black Bear Society. “The property is close to a creek and a forested area, and the young bear had walked into the kitchen.”

The resident did the right thing by immediately going upstairs, calling police, and was instructed by the society to make as much noise as possible to scare the bruin off.

The B.C Conservation Officer Service showed up after 1 p.m., at which point the bear had already left.

“RCMP was first on scene. By the time all attending officers got to the scene the black bear had left the building on its own accord to the backend of the house and along the creek,” said conservation officer Erich Harbich.

The COS then set a number of bear traps around the house, should the bruin return.

Generally speaking, when a bear enters a confined space, such as a house or garage, the COS will attempt to capture and euthanize the bear.

On June 26, a bear was killed after it pushed its way through someone’s screen door in Deep Cove to get food. The night before that, in West Vancouver, residents called for help after a small sow came in through an open door to access food in Westmount. The home’s residents chased the bear away before police or conservation officers arrived.

Both Cadman and Harbich said all three incidents should be reminders that diligence is required when it comes to managing solid-waste attractants.

Harbich said people should make sure their compost, green bins and garbage bins are properly latched and stored somewhere safe. Despite the hot weather, he said it’s important to keep track of open doors and windows during the day because a bear likely won’t go inside if they notice a human nearby.

“If you’re opening the door to air out the house, you want to be right beside it,” he said.

Cadman said the black bear society spent three hours following Friday’s incident canvassing neighbours and providing bear awareness education.

“We knocked on every door and reminded people that if you are not in the immediate area then we need to keep lower-level doors and windows and garages closed,” said Cadman, adding that going inside someone's home could be a death sentence for a wandering bruin. “That’s not behaviour that’s tolerated [by the COS]. … The bear will lose its life and it’s sadly what happens around B.C. every year.”

On July 5, the COS responded to the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve area after reports that a bear had approached a number of youth having lunch, part of a kids' daycamp, in the eating area just east of Rice Lake.

The bear had left the area by the time the COS arrived, but bear traps were laid down.