Calgary

'Aggressive bear' killed Calgary cyclist near B.C. resort

An autopsy has revealed a 31-year-old Calgary cyclist died as a result of a black bear attack, in what one conservation officer called an "accident waiting to happen."

An autopsy has revealed a 31-year-old Calgary cyclistdied as a result of a black bear attackin what one conservation officer called an "accident waiting to happen."

The RCMP shota black bear found next to Robin Kochorek's body on a trail near the Panorama ski resort in eastern British Columbia.

Kochorek was on a mountain bike trip and was reported missing on Saturday night.

Paul Visintine, a wildlife conservation officer in Cranbrook, B.C., said there were no obvious motives for the bear attack.

"Normally we look for reasons such as a sow with cubs, maybe a wildlife kill nearby, protecting a berry patch, a wounded bear situation. We looked at all the triggers that we would normally associate to this and we just didn't find any. We feel this bear is an aggressive bear and it was just an accident waiting to happen."

Derek Henning, a mountain bike rider from Fort St. John, B.C., who has been "downhilling" mountain trails for 15 years, said he was surprised to hear of Kochorek's death.

"I'm still going to ride," he said. "I would like to actually take a course in bear awareness, because I think that would be a good thing to have. And keep being careful. There's no doubt about it —you're taking a risk."

Henning says mountain bikers should ride slowly down mountain trails and make lots of noise so as not to startle bears.

Kochorek's brother, Michael Kochorek, told CBC News on Tuesday that his sister died doing something she loved. She was an avid hiker and mountain biker who relished the outdoors and living near the mountains.

But he said that when he took part in the search-and-rescue effort on Sunday, each group was given bear mace and told there was more than one report of a bear chasing a mountain biker on the hill.

"It just seems absurd to me that that information is communicated then, and not when someone is considering going mountain biking," he said. "I don't think my sister would have gone."

Mark Woodburn, general manager at Panorama, said signs were posted earlier in the week after they received three reports about a bear, but those signs were taken down by the time Kochorek and her friends arrived.

"We are in the wilderness, as are a lot of these parks and resorts, and there are going to be bears around."