(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

Vigil re-affirms belief in peace, acceptance in wake of New Zealand massacre

Nearly 100 show up for solemn event at Mir Centre for Peace

Police bust drug operation in Castlegar

Man charged, will go to court in August

Zoning mix-up nixes Shoreacres property sale

Man says the RDCK’s listings online don’t match his property’s official zoning

Castlegar coach receives Basketball BC honour

Cheryl Closkey recognized for 50 years of volunteering

Application deadline approaching for Castlegar-Embetsu exchange program

Student exchange program sees students travel to Japan every other year.

Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash sentenced to eight years

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Fierce feline spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Anti-discrimination group wants to map offenders with cross-Canada hate atlas

Morgane Oger Foundation issues call for volunteers to help build Canadian Atlas of Populist Extremism

Kater to launch ridesharing service in Vancouver by end of month

The Surrey-based company got its permits from the Vancouver Taxi Association

Second case of measles reported in the B.C. Interior

Case is connected to an earlier measles case in 100 Mile House

Cheetahs will not prosper in Creston: Permit rejected for two big cats

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

GM announces jobs, electric vehicle after Trump criticism

The company says it will spend $300 million at its plant in Orion Township

Most Read