Coquitlam, British Columbia is a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia. Neighbors say that the streets around the Westwood Plateau golf course are frequently visited by black bears.

They wonder down from the mountains in search of food but it is rare for them to attack a human. “They normally shy and back away, so we don’t know what happened in this incident,” said Royal Canadian Police Corporal Tony Farahbakchian.

A 35 year old woman was gardening in her yard when she was mauled by the black bear. Neighbors heard her screams and went to see what was going on. They witnessed the bear attacking the woman so they threw rocks at it to scare it off. The bear was found later and shot and killed by police. The woman was taken to the hospital where she is being treated for bite wounds to her arms and skull. She is listed in serious condition but she was reported not to be in a life threatening condition.

Police had shot and killed another bear last weekend after it was reported to have killed a cat.

For the third time this week, another incident occurred in the basement suite of a home near the same golf course. RCMP and BC conservation officers shot and killed a 400 pound bear in the back yard of the home. They received a call about 7:30 am that the bear pushed through the screen in an open window that was ground level. It was reported that the bear took food from the kitchen after messing the place up a bit and was found in the yard eating. When police arrived the bear ran back into the apartment and police wasn’t sure if anyone was inside or not. They entered the apartment and chased it back out and they shot it in the shoulder. The bear decided to climb a tree after that. They shot the bear about 15 minutes later with a tranquillizer dart which brought the bear down but didn’t knock it out. Instead it darted towards officers. They shot it two more times to stop it.

One neighbor in the same neighborhood, Gordon Ly, has four children said he doesn’t allow his children to play outside anymore unless he is there. Another neighbor, Sharon Gignac along with her two daughters, Vanessa, 9 and Genevieve, 10 were watching the bear from their back yard and witnessed it getting shot. “My daughters are pretty upset,” she said. “We just moved her from Toronto in July and it was the first bear we have seen.” She said the bear tired to come up to her front porch but turned and went into her backyard and then over the fence to the yard where it was killed.

Gignac’s neighbor, Nahid Hedayat said she was upset to see the bear being shot. “They shouldn’t kill it,” she said. She said she had seen a bear recently that had gone into her garage and started eating garbage from her garbage can. She said it could have been the same bear.

Jan Barrett

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