Bear activity in Coquitlam park prompts summer road closure

Click to play video: 'Road to Metro Vancouver park closed because of bears'
Road to Metro Vancouver park closed because of bears
WATCH: Road to Metro Vancouver park closed because of bears – Jul 3, 2019

Bear activity has led to a road closure at Coquitlam’s Minnekhada Regional Park.

Metro Vancouver officials have closed the park entrance on Oliver Road for the summer because so many bears are crossing the road.

READ MORE: Warning issued after aggressive black bear lunges at picnickers on Burnaby Mountain

Markus Merkens with the Metro Vancouver Regional Parks estimates about 15 to 25 bears will use the park during the summer months.

“They use the park itself for security cover,” he said. “And they use the farmland to the south of the park as feeding areas because there are copious quantities of blueberries available to them to fill their bellies with.”

The bears have resulted in motorists stopping to take photos. So to keep bears and drivers safe the road has been closed for the rest of the summer.

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WATCH: Safety tips to be ‘bear aware’ this summer

Click to play video: 'Safety tips to be ‘bear aware’ this summer'
Safety tips to be ‘bear aware’ this summer

“From past experience allowing vehicular traffic to Oliver Road, which is a two-way road but only one lane wide, creates issues with vehicle capacity on the road and creates dangerous situations for people using the park,” Merkens said.

The road is still open for hikers and cyclists, but anyone venturing into the park is advised to stay at least 100 metres away from the animals.

“If you encounter one on one of the trails in the park, please give it space,” Merkens said.

“If it’s coming towards you, slowly turn around, go the other way and just allow the bear to deal with whatever the bear needs to deal with in the park.”

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