Two Vancouver Island bear attacks result in campground closure and injured farm animal

Two Vancouver Island bear attacks result in campground closure and injured farm animal

A campground has been shut and an elderly sheep have been injured after two recent bear encounters on Vancouver Island.

A food-conditioned bear has resulted in the closure of the French Beach Park campground.

The park will be closed until July 30, and it will be reassessed on July 31 for the possibility of reopening, according to a notice posted to the BC Parks website.

On Wednesday, the bear ripped into four tents at the campsite and broke into a number of vehicles.

The Conservation Service dispatched two officers to the area with two bear traps with no success so far. Visitors with reservations at the campground in the next few days will have their reservations refunded.

On the same day, a driver in Saanich stopped, and got out of his vehicle when he saw this black bear attacking an elderly ewe on a farm along Prospect Lake Road.

“According to the young man, when he yelled at it, it scared it off. It ran into the bushes and up the hillside behind me here. It’s very rough, woody terrain,” Wendy Maggiora, the property owner, said.

She says this is the first time in 35 years they’ve had an animal problem on their property.

The ewe, one of three, is not likely to recover, and they’ll keep the others in a safe location.

“The remaining two sheep we’ve relocated to the other side of the property, down by the barn. Just because of the fact that this bear might come back. There is no way of protecting them short of locking them into a barn or something,” Maggiora said.

Maggoria says the bear could be anywhere by now.

“The bear could be long gone by now. I did notify some of our neighbours that do have animals to let them know that there was a bear in the area. But they can travel pretty fast, and pretty far,” Maggiora said.

Two encounters that serve as yet another reminder to be bear aware.

WATCH: Mother bear near Thetis put down due to ‘food-conditioned behaviour’

Mary GriffinMary Griffin
Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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