COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) — Portions of the Coquitlam Crunch remain closed Monday after a black bear took a swipe at a jogger.
The encounter was caught on camera Saturday, and circulated on social media.
Murray Smith is an inspector with the Conservation Officer Service and says they’ve done an evaluation of the area where the bear walked onto the paved path and gave a tentative tap to a woman’s leg with its paw.
“We’ve got 25 reports of bear conflict in and around that area within three kilometres, and up to half a kilometre, multiple interactions with the public and garbage, and of charging people,” he says.
“Right now we’ve done a full assessment and there are other indicators that say this bear has lost its fear of people.”
Officers are searching for the bear but Smith says it’s too soon to say what its fate will be.
“I don’t want to say right now what the outcome will be because I’m not sure what it will be,” Smith says.
“I just know bears that have a reduced fear of people, and this bear — there was a gap between the runner and the bear and the bear chose to walk up to the person and fortunately only swatted and then scratched [them] as opposed to bit them — that’s an indication of loss of fear of people and human habituation. Generally, those bears aren’t candidates for relocation.”
There’s no timeline for the upper portion of the trail to be reopened.
With files from Martin MacMahon