The B.C. Conservation Officer Service (COS) expects a popular North Vancouver park to remain closed for at least five days, following a black bear attack.
According to the COS, a 10-year-old girl was walking the Rice Lake Loop trail in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve with her family when she was bitten on the leg around 3 p.m., Friday.
“It’s unusual for sure,” said COS Sgt. Dean Miller.
“Nobody wants to see their child approached and attacked by a black bear.”
The girl was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The COS says it has received multiple sightings of a small black bear in the park, and Miller said there is concern the animal is not afraid of people.
“It sounds like the bear was food-conditioned, human-habituated,” he told Global News on Saturday.
“A bear can learn these behaviours very quick and adapt, and this potentially could be the result of careless containment of food in the backcountry.”
Metro Vancouver has closed the conservation reserve, along with the Connector Trail that links it with Lynn Headwaters Regional Park.
Metro Vancouver says the bear has also been spotted in Headwaters Park.
The COS has deployed officers and traps to the conservation reserve and said it expects to have a presence in the area until at least Wednesday.
People making use of the North Vancouver backcountry are being advised to travel in groups, make noise and carry bear spray.
The COS is also reminding people to always secure food and other attractants and to never feed a bear.