A Duncan family hopes others learn something after a video she posted on TikTok of a bear sleeping under her deck went viral.
Crystal Weaver’s family lives in a home on the edge of the Cowichan River and is used to seeing wildlife, like bears, especially after people go fishing.
Weaver said a bear wandered right up to the back fence in the summer before walking away, adding she hadn’t seen a bear stick around for long — until last week.
She explained her two-year-old dog Coco was acting more nervous than normal for a few days, even barking toward the backyard when it didn’t look like anything was there.
“She’s a bit of a silly girl, so we didn’t think too much of it,” Weaver said.
That changed Thursday night when she and her husband heard some noises coming from under their deck.
Thinking it was just a family of raccoons, the couple decided to wait until the morning to check.
“In the morning, my husband went down to have a look and came face to face with a black bear that had made a nice little place to have a nest under our deck and bedroom,” Weaver said. “He got out of there extremely quick, and then our anxiety was pretty high because you definitely don’t want a bear living under your house.”
Lisa Lopez, WildSafeBC program manager, said this can happen when a bear is looking for a place to sleep or hibernate.
“Bears will find a space under a building, under a porch or around the edge of a shed where they can dig a little area underneath where they can feel safe there, and they feel like it’s a good spot,” Lopez explained.
Weaver said she tried scaring the bear by jumping on the deck, and when that didn’t work, she called the Conservation Officer Service (COS).
While she waited for officers to arrive, she took a video of the bear from a secure area.
COS was able to scare away the bear with loud noises and chase it down the fence line.
“We are hoping that interaction with humans is enough to let it know that this isn’t a safe place to be,” Weaver said.
After the bear was safely gone, Weaver decided to have fun with her video of the bruin.
She posted it on her TikTok account, which is dedicated to videos of Coco.
“I thought it was kind of funny that I ignored her, and she was right about it the whole time, that was the premise of the video,” Weaver explained. “I just thought I’ll get my usual 60 views, and that will be that, but apparently, people are really interested in black bears.”
The video ended up going viral, having more than four million views as of Tuesday morning.
@cocobeansandcrew this black bear thought the space under our deck might be a great place to spend winter. scared it off and are now bear proofing the area. pay attention when your dog’s try and tell you something, they might be barking for a reason. #bear #blackbear #hybernation #youcantstayyougottago #eek #canipetthatdog ♬ Can I pet that dog – KaylaaWade
She hopes people not only enjoy the video but also learn from it.
“There’s a lot of people who seem to think it’s OK to allow a black bear to den under your house and allow it to become used to people,” Weaver explained. “We definitely know that’s not safe for bears, and it’s not safe for us.”
In an email, COS said if you suspect a bear is under your house, call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-RAPP (7277) or report it online.
“Once the bear has exited the crawl space, then be ready to board it up securely to prevent the bear from coming back,” the email continued.
COS added the “key to avoiding this in the first place is securing crawl spaces with skirting and ensuring your yard is free of attractants.”
Weaver said that’s what she plans to do.
“We have spread cayenne pepper under there in hopes that the odour would definitely deter him from being back, but we will be putting some fencing up on the exposed side now to keep him out of there as well,” she explained.