British Columbia

Bear trap removed from Coquitlam Crunch, top of trail set to reopen Tuesday

The top of a popular trail in Coquitlam is expected to reopen Tuesday after conservation officers were unable to trap a bear that approached a runner last weekend.

The bear trap sparked controversy about best actions to deal with animals

A sign at the top of the Coquitlam Crunch trail has been in place since Sunday. (Conservation Officer Service)

The top of a popular trail in Coquitlam is expected to reopen Tuesday after conservation officers were unable to trap a black bear that approached a runner last weekend.

A trap had been placed by the B.C. Conservation Officer Service after it learned of the encounter. Officers were worried the bear posed a threat to public safety.

The placing of the trap and the closure of the top portion of the steep 2.2-kilometre climb became controversial, however, as residents in the area worried the bear would be destroyed if captured.

The trap was removed after five days, with no signs of the bear in the area.

In a post on Facebook, the conservation service said "the decision to remove the trap is based on several factors, including duration and lack of bear activity in the area."

WATCH: Local Coquitlam Crunch trail users offers opinions about the bear trap.

Coquitlam Crunch trail users share opinions about bear trap

2 years ago
Duration 0:53
Conservation officers put the trap in place for 5 days after a bear tapped a runner's leg on Saturday, August 29, 2020. No bear was captured.

The conservation service says it will continue to monitor the area — which is in a green corridor within the city —  and is asking people to report any bear sightings to its hotline

The service says the closure may be extended, but the plan is to reopen the top of the trail after the long weekend.

After the trap was set following the encounter last weekend, there was criticism of the conservation service, with many people saying on social media that bears are too often euthanized as a solution to encounters with humans.

Some people suggested not reporting bear encounters as a way to protect the animals.

Meanwhile another black bear, called Plum by locals, was shot this week by conservation officers in Deep Cove following a 911 call. It also sparked calls for a review of the role and response of conservation officers.

Murray Smith, who oversees the Lower Mainland's conservation officers, says the service is open to scrutiny, but that people need to do more to keep bears out of residential areas by securing garbage, fallen fruit, compost and birdseed.

According to provincial statistics, B.C. conservation officers killed 564 black bears last year after responding to more than 21,000 calls. 

The service is asking people who use the Coquitlam Crunch this weekend to take precautions such as making noise. More safety tips about black bears can be found at WildSafeBC.

Bear taps at woman on Coquitlam Crunch trail

2 years ago
Duration 0:51
The encounter, which happened just after 11 a.m. on Saturday, was filmed by Sam Abdullah, who climbs the popular Coquitlam Crunch up to four times a week.

With files from Zahra Premji

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