Peanut loving bear raids North Vancouver kitchen

Open patio door allows bear to grab peanut butter from counter

A bear with a taste for peanut butter has made two trips to a house near Cleveland Dam in the span of one week, but if the homeowner has her way, a third visit will land the animal in a trap.

The black bear, likely a female, first lumbered right into the home through an open patio door on June 23. The animal wandered into the kitchen, snagged a jar of peanut butter and hunkered down to enjoy the snack in the backyard.

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While it might sound like a scene from a cartoon, Natalie Forchuk said the bear posed a "direct threat" to her family.

After being locked out of the home, the bear started pushing on the patio door.

The mother of two preschoolers, Forchuk said conservation officers have recently placed a bear trap near her home.

Her dealings with the bear have been exacerbated by the slow response time of conservation officers, according to Forchuk.

"By the time they get out here the bear is long gone," she told the North Shore News.

A lengthy search of the neighbourhood yielded no signs of the bear, according to conservation officer Alex Desjardins.

"What we suggest is residents not leave windows or doors open," he said.

The family didn't, but the bear returned to the home Wednesday, according to Forchuk.

"It walked quickly up to my patio slider (where it had initially come into the kitchen) and stood up and banged on the glass," Forchuk wrote.

After grabbing her kids, Forchuk said she dashed to her car and locked the doors.

"The bear jumped our fence, came and circled the car, sniffing," she wrote.

The bear eventually returned to her backyard, according to Forchuk, who said some animal lovers in the area disagreed with the way she's handled the situation.

"It's actually amazing how much negative feedback I've had from neighbours, blaming me for calling it in, as the bear will be destroyed, not moved," she wrote.

Meanwhile, Desjardins advised homeowners to pick their fruit trees regularly, keep a clean barbecue, and secure garbage cans to avoid an unwanted visit from a bear.

If caught at home with a bear, Desjardins suggested opening as many doors as possible before leaving the home.

"Don't close the door the bear used to enter," he said, adding some people have made the mistake of locking an intruding bear in their home.

Cornering the bear could also be dangerous, he added.

If leaving the home is impossible, Desjardins recommended barricading yourself in a room with a phone.

People dealing with a bear should call 9-1-1 in a life-threatening situation, or phone a conservation officer at 1-877-952-7277 in other situations, according to Desjardins.

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