(Image from Creston Valley Advance)

Kootenay bear attack victim did nothing wrong

Creston CO James Barber says man hospitalized after run-in with grizzly not at fault

Creston Conservation Officer James Barber says that a man who was hospitalized last week after a run-in with a grizzly bear was not at fault.

“Contrary to some of the comments I have seen on social media, he did absolutely nothing wrong,” Barber said on Saturday. The man was paddling his kayak on Kootenay River and pitched a tent on the shore for the night. He was an experienced and well-equipped outdoorsman, Barber said.

“But he did not know that he had pitched his tent next to a corridor for a family unit of grizzly bears,” he said. The temporary campsite was very close to where the sow and her cubs routinely swam across the river to forage for food.

The man came face to face with the sow early in the morning while making a short walk from his tent. After the mauling, he was able to call for help by cell phone, and then paddled “about two and a half kilometres to the Old Ferry Landing”, where an ambulance was waiting.

“He was well prepared for the outdoors,” Barber said. “He was just unlucky.”

Latest reports indicate the man is recovering following surgery.

After an investigation, he said the bear(s) would not be destroyed.

“There is no history with these bears being a danger,” he said. “We have had reports of sitings, but no complaints. The sow was protecting multiple cubs from this year and this was a defensive attack. There is not much visual distance at that location and both parties were surprised.”

Barber added that the bears apparently swam away immediately after the incident and have not returned to the site since.

The attack came at a time when other grizzly bears nearby have become a concern. A poplar hiking area along Summit Creek, and the logging site further up the mountain, has attracted at least three Grizzly bears, largely due to the illegal and irresponsible dumping of animal remains by what Barber describes as “a backyard butcher.”

“This dumping is troubling because hikers use both the Trans Canada and Balancing Rock Trail in the area. Just a few meters south of Summit Creek Bridge a trail divides, one leading to Balancing Rock Trail. The other fork runs for several kilometers along the Summit Creek drainage, crossing a logging road accessed by another bridge to the west, near Highway 3A.

“I surmise that bears are now visiting the area, looking for scraps, and it is causing a huge public safety concern. The illegal dumper could possibly end up being responsible for the deaths of three Grizzlys. This is not a business that is responsible—it’s a backyard butcher and it has to stop.”

Some of the area’s grizzly bears have radio collars that makes tracking their activities easy, but Barber said that the population has increased in recent years, and that grizzlys have all but cleared the Creston Valley of black bears.

“We appreciate reports of grizzly sitings called into the RAPP line(Call 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) or #7277 on the TELUS Mobility Network),” he said. “I like to be aware of their comings and goings.”

With it now being illegal to dump animal bodies or parts in the landfill, he said the RDCK and other stakeholders are working on a solution, an animal compost site.

“It’s a work in progress.”

Just Posted

Starbucks baristas in Trail donate $7,000 in tips

Funds will go toward the breakfast program in five Kootenay Columbia elementary schools

Good fencing makes good neighbours— especially when your neighbours are bears

Workshop in Pass Creek this weekend to promote benefits of proper protection for livestock

Feeling the heat

What you see: If you have a recent photo to share email editor@trailtimes.ca

Air time at Trail Sk8 Park

The Trail Sk8Park is located near the Gyro Park boat launch

B.C. MP’s climate-change alarmism challenged

Letter to the Editor from Thorpe Watson, PhD, Warfield

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

B.C. dog owner sues after pet killed in beaver trap

A Kamloops man is suing the operator of a trapline north of the city after his dog died

Most Read