A Coquitlam family went through a frightening experience over the weekend after a bear climbed into the family van while a child was sitting in the front seat.
The incident took place on Saturday morning at approximately 7:55 am in the Westwood Plateau area.
The family was in the process of loading groceries into the vehicle to take to another neighbour’s home.
According to the family, the child was left in the front passenger seat for a short period of time while the mother and sibling went back into the home.
When they returned, they discovered the bear accessing the vehicle through the trunk and eating some of the food.
Luckily, the family was able to scare away the bear through the vehicle’s panic button.
The animal escaped through the neighbours’ yard and into a nearby park before respondents were contacted. Members of the BC Conservation Officer Service scoured the area but were unable to locate the animal.
Conservation Officer Eric Tyukodi says that the bear had two tags on its ear, meaning that the animal had already been relocated at least once.
“The bear showed signs of human habituation and food conditioning, so it’s definitely something we want to remove from that area,” he explains.
Fortunately, the child was not harmed in any way, nor was the vehicle.
A trap was set on the property before the end of the day on Saturday, however, the bear is still at large.