Belcarra's White Pine Beach remains closed due to problem bear
Trap set, beach off limits, no barbecues allowed
A popular beach in Belcarra, B.C., remains closed due to a problem bear in the area.
The White Pine Beach was closed around 8 a.m. PT Sunday. Park officials had set a trap for the bear but it has still not been caught.
The B.C. Conservation Officer Service said Sunday that it had received several reports about the bear, which it says has been getting close to people and into unattended food on the beach.
Hana Kostka of Maple Ridge first saw the bear on Thursday morning and shot video of it after she says it came within three metres of her.
"Just taking everything from my bag and checking if there is food," Kostka said. "It was really funny because he was actually, like, sitting and scratching itself looking really comfortable.
"It was amazing to watch, unbelievable, but also, that's a wild animal. So that's a little bit scary."
Conservation officer Eric Tyukodi said he'll be working with Metro Vancouver Regional Parks staff to locate the bear Monday.
"Essentially, if the animal is seen today and parks [staff] can kind of corral it in the area, then we can attend and tranquilize the bear. We're probably going to look at re-baiting that trap as well with fresh bait to redouble our efforts," Tyukodi said.
The beach area will remain off limits, and Tyukodi said parks staff are restricting people from using barbecues in the picnic area.
"The scent is so powerful. It's a very big attractant for the animal," he said.
Kostka, who describes herself as a regular beach visitor, says she's still a little nervous after her close encounter with the creature.
"I would really be hesitant to go there," she said. "Sometimes I went when I was just maybe one person... but now, I don't know. I probably would not do that again."
Belcarra is a village northwest of Port Moody, directly across Indian Arm from the Deep Cove area of North Vancouver.
- A previous version of this story said conservation staff would be working with Vancouver Park Board staff to locate the bear. In fact, Belcarra Regional Park is administered by staff from Metro Vancouver Regional Parks.Jul 11, 2018 9:27 AM PT