A pair of popular North Vancouver hiking trails were closed on Thursday over concerns about an aggressive black bear in the area.
Metro Vancouver temporarily closed the Varley Trail and Connector Trail in the Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, due to what it tweeted was “EXTREME #BEAR ACTIVITY.”
At issue appears to be a single problem bear, which conservation officers said was responsible for killing a small dog in the park last week.
“This morning, a runner by herself was chased by the bear in question, that we were able to identify as being the same one responsible for all the other reports,” said Sgt. Simon Gravel with the Conservation Officer Service (COS).
WATCH: Small dog killed by a bear on popular North Shore hiking trail
“This bear has been following people, chasing dogs — we had multiple reports over the last few days.”
The trails were reopened on Thursday afternoon, after conservation officers set up a bear trap to capture the animal. The COS said the bear will likely be put down.
With the trails reopened, visitors to the area are being warned to exercise extreme caution, and the park has been plastered with signage warning of the threat.
The signs didn’t seem to discourage many visitors, with several people even spotted ducking under red tape meant to keep the trails off-limits during the closure.
Others said they were surprised to find the area closed.
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“I’ve been living here 35 years. I’ve never seen that sign up,” said cyclist Nigel Bennett, who told Global News he only saw the signs as he left the trails.
“I’ve been riding in the woods for two hours and I haven’t seen a soul. I was wondering, ‘Where are all the people?'”
Metro Vancouver is advising the public to give wildlife in the park a wide berth, and to make plenty of noise if they are on the trails.
Visitors are also advised to hike or walk with a friend.
If you are in the park and do run into a bear, Metro Vancouver says you should never run.
Instead, in a bear encounter, you should:
- Face the bear and back away slowly.
- Stay calm, and talk to the bear in a confident voice.
- Make sure the bear has a clear exit, as it is likely just as anxious to get out of there as you are.