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Section of Coquitlam Crunch closed after bear filmed swatting at jogger

Click to play video 'Bear is caught on camera taking a swipe at a jogger on a Coquitlam Crunch trail' Bear is caught on camera taking a swipe at a jogger on a Coquitlam Crunch trail
Bear is caught on camera taking a swipe at a jogger on a Coquitlam Crunch trail – Aug 30, 2020

Conservation officers have shut down a section of a popular Lower Mainland trail after video emerged of a black bear swatting at a jogger.

In the video, the bear can be seen walking out of the bushes along the Coquitlam Crunch, approaching a woman and pawing at her.

Click to play video 'Woman has close encounter with Black Bear on Coquitlam Crunch trail' Woman has close encounter with Black Bear on Coquitlam Crunch trail
Woman has close encounter with Black Bear on Coquitlam Crunch trail – Aug 30, 2020

Read more: 3 arrested in Coquitlam after objecting to conservation officers destroying family of bears

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The bear then jumps back, before approaching the woman again. The woman then turns and flees the animal.

Conservation officer Austin Lord said the service was called to the trail Saturday afternoon after the incident was reported.

Click to play video 'Trap in place after frightening black bear encounter on Coquitlam Crunch trail' Trap in place after frightening black bear encounter on Coquitlam Crunch trail
Trap in place after frightening black bear encounter on Coquitlam Crunch trail – Aug 31, 2020

“She’s OK. It made contact once and came back towards her. She made lots of noise and she left,” he said.

All access points to the upper part of the Coquitlam Crunch have since been closed, and Lord said the COS had also deployed a bear trap.

Read more: 10-year-old girl bitten by bear at popular North Vancouver park

He said the area will remain closed for several days until the bear has either been trapped or leaves on its own. If it is captured, the COS will assess whether it is suitable for relocation or will be destroyed.

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“That’s very unusual bear behaviour. Looking at that video we can only expect that the bear has been habituated by humans,” he said.

“It’s very possible that bear has been fed in the past, so it saw the person and thought, ‘Oh, they might have food for me.'”

The video is yet another example of why people need to be careful to secure their trash and any other potential attractant, such as fruit trees, so bears are not drawn to them.

“It’s never usually bears,” he said. “It’s people.”