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Calls grow to save bear that swiped at jogger on Coquitlam Crunch

Last Updated Sep 3, 2020 at 8:13 pm PDT

Summary

A petition calling for conservation officers not to euthanize a bear that swatted a jogger in Coquitlam is growing

The petition neared its goal of 2,500 signatures only a day after it was launched

The bear encounter was caught on camera and posted online this past weekend

COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) – A petition has been launched to save the black bear caught on camera swatting a woman on the upper portion of the Coquitlam Crunch this week.

The petition had gathered more than 2,300 signatures by 8:00 a.m. Thursday morning, nearing its goal of 2,500.

On Saturday, video showing the bear tapping a woman’s leg surfaced online. The incident led to the closure of the popular Tri-Cities trail by Conservation Officers.

Many of those who signed the petition say humans are to blame for the interaction, and that video shows the bear wasn’t aggressive.

“We need to be and do better,” one person wrote.

“It is time we take a HARD look at how we are encroaching on wildlife territories,” another comment reads. “Do people REALLY need Coquitlam Crunch open when bears are fattening up for winter? SO TIRED of Coquitlam City Council and their burning need to develop.”

Some have also suggested the animal be relocated.

The Conservation Officer Service told NEWS 1130 earlier this week that officers are still looking for the bear and that its fate hadn’t yet been determined.

As of Tuesday, a section of the Coquitlam Crunch remained closed to the public.

“Right now we’ve done a full assessment and there are other indicators that say this bear has lost its fear of people,” Murray Smith with the Conservation Officer Service said on Monday.

“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 added.

At the time, Smith reiterated the bear’s fate was unknown.

Anyone using the trail is asked to be vigilant, take safety precautions, and report any bear sightings in the area.

It’s unclear when the upper portion of the trail to be reopened.