electrical bike ‘I may hear him huffing and see the whites of his eyes,’ says Okanagan lady about her bear encounter – Coast Mountain Information
Summerland resident Janice Kitson continues to be shaken after being chased by a bear whereas biking on Conkle Mountain lately.
It was a extra intimate encounter with nature than she was anticipating.
“He’s beside my again wheel and I may have put my arm round his neck, he was that shut.”
Kitson was coming down Conkle Bonk on the canyon above the rodeo grounds, at round 11 a.m. on Sept. 16, when the bear got here out of nowhere.
“I used to be having a wonderful journey and serious about what time I’d end it in, after I heard some kind of crashing within the bush to the best of the path, above me,” Kitson remembers.
“It’s a slim space, so I chanced a fast look behind me and noticed the bear galloping full pace at me – I may hear him huffing and respiration exhausting and see the whites of his eyes.”
With the bear behind her, Kitson pedalled as quick as she may, going off the path and down in the direction of the canyon.
“I believe that as a result of a small tree and patch of bush got here between us, he went a bit left then ran previous me and stopped six to eight ft away,” stated Kitson. “I ended and was pondering omg, omg he’s going to return again.”
That’s when the large bear stood up and snorted quite a few occasions.
Kitson stood very nonetheless beside the little tree, pondering that if she may maintain the bike between her and the bear, she may not get too mauled.
Then the darkish brown bruin turned and ran off.
Kitson tried to get again on her bike and journey away however then the severity of the incident set in.
“I needed to sit down for about quarter-hour, I used to be shaking so violently. How he didn’t hit me is a thriller to me – the way in which he got here crashing out of the bush with mud flying all over the place.”
It’s been over per week since Kitson’s encounter with the bear and the scene nonetheless performs out in her thoughts.
Kitson says the identical bear was seen final week nearer to the gazebo on the north aspect of the Trans Canada Path, and she or he believes she noticed the identical bear two weeks in the past.
For years, Kitson and different Summerland residents have loved the numerous trails on Conkle Mountain with out incident. There have at all times been bears there, she hasn’t heard of any aggressive ones.
In keeping with WildSafeBC, fall is when bears undergo hyperphagia (“excessive consuming”) after they require a mean of 20,000 energy per day.
A mom and cubs have been noticed close to the rodeo grounds this week too and one other bear has been noticed on the town.
One factor that makes this yr totally different in Kitson’s opinion, is that with COVID-19 extra folks and canine try to get outdoors within the contemporary air, making the paths busier than different years.
“Bears see canines as a risk to their cubs and their meals,” stated BC Conservation Officer Dave Cox.
Conservation officers have been getting calls about bear sightings, however not any calls about aggressive bears.
“What occurred with that bear isn’t regular behaviour for them. It may have been that the bear was being defensive of some close by meals or that she stunned him,” Cox stated.
He at all times recommends calling the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277 to allow them to examine and warn folks in regards to the incident or space of bear sightings.
“Calling us doesn’t essentially imply that we’re going to get that bear,” he added.
This time of yr, bears are drawn to all of the rotting fruit within the South Okanagan and so it isn’t uncommon to see them this time of yr.
“We now have one other month of bears after which they go away to hibernate round Halloween,” stated Cox.
Cox says if you’re going out climbing within the mountains, it’s finest to carry bells, discuss and go in teams so that you let bears know you might be there. When you encounter a bear, discuss calmly to it, don’t scream, again away and go away them an escape route if doable.
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