Black bear breaks into elderly woman's home in North Vancouver

A B.C. woman got a shock on Tuesday when she discovered a black bear in her kitchen - the latest in a string of unusual encounters between humans and bears in British Columbia.

Woman was taken to hospital, possibly clawed by the bear

An elderly woman was taken to hospital, possibly clawed by bear 2:14

Bear encounters are not uncommon in B.C., but there has been a string of incidents involving the animals that serve as a reminder that they are never far from where humans live, eat and play.

On Tuesday, an elderly woman was taken to hospital, possibly clawed by a bear she found in her North Vancouver home.

Mary Ellen Young says her elderly neighbour saw something black in her kitchen and, thinking it was a crow, went to investigate. It was a black bear, and the elderly woman is believed to have been clawed. She was taken to hospital. (CBC)

It is not clear how the bear entered the woman's house on the 600 block of St Ives Crescent, but her neighbour, Mary Ellen Young, described her friend's experience.

"She saw something black, and thought it was a crow and went to check it out, and there was a huge bear in her kitchen," said Young.

The black bear was subsequently tranquillized and captured.

Grizzly bear eats baby food

The incident comes only one day after a young family was shocked by a grizzly bear approaching their child's empty stroller in Port Coquitlam's Lions Park.

According to witnesses, the bear ate some baby food from the stroller before vanishing. Property manager Stephen Boucher said park staff will be taking more precautions in future.

"The conservation officers have asked us to look into doing something about closing off the garbage cans so it might not attract more bears to the neighbourhood," said Boucher.

In Squamish on Monday, conservation officers released a young grizzly bear that had been spotted in Brackendale a few times over the past few weeks.

The bear had been caught by conservation officers near Squamish 0:26

On mobile? Click here to see video of the bear being released

The bear, believed to be four or five years old, was captured on Sunday at the Squamish landfill using a tranquillizer gun.

Insp. Chris Doyle says grizzly bears aren't often seen in this area.

"In the South Coast region, we've had very few grizzly bear conflicts," said Doyle. "Grizzly bears tend to stay in more remote areas and away from conflict."

Black bear surprises diners in Nelson

In Nelson, a black bear swam up to diners on a lakeside patio at Prestige Marina and hopped the railing this week. 

Manager Derek Montgomery watched with part amusement, part shock.

"I'd say I was a little scared. I didn't want to cross paths with him," said Montgomery.

"He was standing right at the door. If the guy shutting it was like two seconds slower the bear would have been right inside the restaurant."

Manager Derek Montgomery saw the bear swim up to patio in Nelson 1:17

On mobile? Click here to see Montgomery describe his bear encounter

The small cinnamon-coloured bear was eventually scared up a tree, but ultimately, conservation officer Jason Hawkes decided to shoot it.

Hawkes says the young bear was well known and hooked on human food.

"I'm sure the bear could smell food from the restaurant and was probably looking for another meal ticket."

Each year in B.C., hundreds of black bears are destroyed due to conflicts between people and bears. In 2013, roughly 325 bears, both black and grizzly, were killed by conservation officers. That number was down from 460 the year before.

But Joanne Siderius, WildSafeBC community co-ordinator, says bear calls are way up this year. 

"Last year was a bumper year for a lot of the foods that bears eat, like huckleberries and Saskatoon berries," said Siderius,

"So when a female is well fed and she goes into the den, she'll produce more cubs than if she went in to the den a little leaner."

With files from Belle Puri

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