The upper portion of the Coquitlam Crunch remains closed at Panorama Drive after a Vancouver woman came face to face with a black bear while on a popular hiking trail.
CTV News reports Kendra Chin had been hiking the trail once a week since spring and has never seen a bear, but recently while on her way down from the summit she spotted a black bear at the edge of the trail:
“I made a slight movement and then it started coming towards me. It kind of freaked me out, so I just stood there – I didn’t know what to do.”
In response to false claims on social media, Chin said she never attempted to take a photo of the animal:
“I definitely wouldn’t risk my life trying to take a selfie with a bear so that wasn’t the motive. I was just running down the Coquitlam Crunch, as I usually do, and it just so happens that a bear was there.”
The viral video shows the black bear slowly stepping towards Chin and then tapping her leg. Chin said the bear’s swipe felt like being scratched by a dog. The bear retreats for a few seconds before approaching her again. As soon as Chin gets the chance, she runs away and the bear slowly goes back into the bush. She said she’s since learned various tips on how to handle bear encounters and considers herself lucky.
“I don’t think that bear specifically was aggressive towards me. It was just kind of curious. The bear didn’t fully attack me so maybe the bear’s life should be saved, I guess. It did no harm to me. It could have been worse.”
However conservation officers analyzing the video described the encounter as alarming because the bear seems to have lost its fears of humans:
“This bear didn’t run away. And then chose to come and walk right up to the person, and then chose to swipe at the person. Just on that basis alone, that’s concerning behaviour.” –Insp. Murray Smith
Officers closed the upper section of the trail and set up a trap but have not captured the bear in question. The trail remains closed.