A man who'd been jogging on a trail in North Vancouver says dogs saved his life after he was chased and about to be attacked by a black bear.
Scott Smith told CBC News that the bear suddenly came out of the bush and onto a trail on Mount Seymour about midday Wednesday.
"It was a large black bear and he was hauling ass after me," Smith said. "I didn't know what to do. I was in a state of shock and I started running as fast as I could."
He said the bear was still closing on him when he ran out of breath. He jumped into the bush and tried to hide between two logs, but the bear found him and stood up on his hind legs, looking down on him.
That's when he heard dogs barking, Smith said, and the bear got back down all all fours.
Dogs scare off bear
Four dogs that had been on the trail accompanied by a professional dog walker confronted the animal and chased it off, he said.
"If those dogs didn't show up, all the bear would have done was step into the bush and maul me. I would have been his lunch," said Smith.
It was dog walker Valerie van Breugel who heard his cries for help.
"I hear a 'Help! Help!' from the shrubbery, so without thinking I charged towards the bear to scare him off," she said.
The dogs did scare the bear away, but then Smith bolted, leaving van Breugel to rescue one of the dogs from the bear alone, she said.
"So [he] completely bolted. The bear is still coming at us and I'm trying to find the dog," she said.
"The bear is between me and the dog so I can't really get to him, but I can't really leave, she's one of my girls right," she said.
Eventually she was able to rescue her dog, she said.
"Yeah, we spent an hour up there basically, so I'm exhausted," said van Breugel afterwards.
Bear shot by conservation officer
Police blocked off the Mushroom Trail Loop on Mount Seymour from public access while conservation officers hunted for the animal, which they found and shot to death within a few hours of the incident.
Smith said he didn't like the idea of the bear being shot, but it was a dangerous animal that had to be put down.
"As hard as that is for me to say, that is the right thing to do."
Smith said he has run on the trail five days a week for about 20 years and had seen bears before, but they usually would run off when aware of his presence.
Other bears shot
Black bears usually avoid human contact, and any that become aggressive towards humans or overly habituated to human contact are usually destroyed as a precaution.
An elderly B.C. woman was killed outside her rural home in an encounter with at least one black bear June 30.
Conservation officers shot four bears in the area of the woman's home a few days after her death.
Conservation officers also shot and killed another bear in North Vancouver Tuesday after it had become habituated to a residential area and was routinely eating domestic garbage, the organization Bear Aware reported Wednesday.
On Monday, a B.C. man survived an attack by a grizzly bear in the province's central coast area.
John Johnson was taken by air ambulance to Victoria, where he is expected to remain in hospital for about three weeks recovering from his wounds.