(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

Tearing down old Trail

Asbestos removal on the Union Hotel and nearby property continue in downtown Trail

March of the umps

Umpires for the 2018 BC Little League Championship in Trail made their way to the field

Trail boat launch closed

Trees are being felled in preparation for the skate park ground-breaking on Monday

What you see …

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

Let’s play ball; Trail ready for B.C. Little League championship

Click story to see the games schedule for the 2018 Little League BC Major Provincial Championships

Here’s what you need to know about Day 2 at the BC Games

From equestrian to volleyball to swimming, all 18 events in full swing here in the Cowichan Valley

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

PHOTO GALLERY: BC Games Day 2

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

BC Wildfire update on 14 major Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

2017 wildfires give B.C. mom chance to say thank you to officer who saved her son

An unlikely encounter in the rural community of Likely, near Williams Lake

UPDATED: Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters defy eviction order

Demonstrators at Camp Cloud in Burnaby say they won’t leave, but will meet with city officials

B.C. tent city camper arrested for taking coins from fountain

The man, who built a shelter at a Saanich park, says homeless people are unfairly targeted

Ex-Raptor DeMar DeRozan says goodbye to Toronto on Instagram

The guard was traded to the San Antonio Spurs earlier this week for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green

Okanagan wildfires have potential to become firestorms, says UBC expert

David Andison said to let smaller fires go, to create pockets in the landscape for new forests

Most Read