(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

BC senior curling championship slides into Trail

The Trail Curling Association hosts 16 men’s and women’s teams in the senior provincial championship

Snoopy shows up in snowy Silver City

What You See: If you have a recent photo to share email (large size please) to editor@trailtimes.ca

South Slocan woman killed in Friday crash

Police continue to investigate cause of fatal crash

Centennials end Trail Smoke Eaters’ win streak

The Trail Smoke Eaters lost a close 6-4 match to the Merritt Centennials on Saturday

34 Columbia Basin projects to get kids active

Columbia Basin Trust gives over $500,000 in PLAYS Capital Improvement Grants

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

East Kootenay mine deaths prompt safety initiatives

Teck produces educational video, introduces new procedures after contractor drowns at Fording River

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

‘Violent’ B.C. man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

Prince George man with ties to Vernon sought by police

Most Read