‘We were just mesmerized’: Port Alberni resident captures five black bears playing in backyard

Holly McLaughlin
A Port Alberni family was treated to an incredible wildlife encounter when a group of black bears wrestled in their backyard.

A Vancouver Island family was treated to an incredible wildlife encounter they won’t soon fur-get when a group of black bears wrestled in the backyard of their Port Alberni home.

Holly McLaughlin and her family said they were treated to not just one or two visitors, but five black bears stopped by their yard on Monday, Oct. 19 at around 5:30 p.m.

“We get bears in our yard quite often because we live by a creek,” McLaughlin said, adding that at this time of year the bears are drawn to the creek due to the copious amounts of fish.

Despite bears frequenting McLaughlin’s yard, she said she’s never seen them gather in such a large number at the same time.

“The most I’ve seen in my yard was two . . . I have never seen five before,” the Port Alberni resident told CHEK News.

According to McLaughlin, it wasn’t just a fleeting moment as the bears hung around for approximately 45 minutes.

“It was an amazing experience. In our Tseshaht language with call the bears ‘c?ims,’ pronounced chims. My husband Dominic, daughter Deja and I were a bit nervous at first, but once they started playing we were just mesmerized,” she recounted.

In a video clip sent by McLaughlin, the bears can be seen wrestling and playing around the property as the family watches on in awe.

Although the trio initially had some nerves about the five black bears in the vicinity, McLaughlin said that they overall felt prepared.

“We are very bear cautious around our property because we know they will investigate this time of year.  We make sure that we don’t bring our garbage out until a few minutes before it is picked up and don’t leave anything enticing laying around our yard,” she said.

McLaughlin’s video shows the two bears taking off into the woods, while the other four decided to paws and remain in the yard a little bit longer before heading off.

“It was an experience my family and I will never forget and I am thankful I was able to get it on video to share,” she highlighted.

A separate black bear incident occurred on Monday on Vancouver Island when a black bear killed a llama in Saanich, triggering a warning for residents to protect their livestock and pets.

Graham CoxGraham Cox

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!