It’s been a bad year for bears so far in Canada — and not so great for the humans they encounter, either.
A black bear that knocked over a man lounging in his hot tub in Whistler, BC on Sunday has been shot and killed. According to an RCMP press release, the 55-year old “felt a heavy blow to the back of his head which propelled him forward in the hot tub.” He “turned around and found himself face to face with a black bear. He yelled at the bear and retreated inside the home.”
The victim was later treated at the Whistler Health Care Center for lacerations to the back of his head. A necropsy will be performed on the bear to try to determine the reason for the attack.
This follows the euthanizing on the weekend of a black bear that pulled the body of Rory Nelson Wagner, 53, from his car on a logging trail near Kamloops, BC and ate part of the remains. Wagner, who was convicted of murder in 1994, after he and two others were charged with killing a man they believed had sexually assaulted a family member, had been reported missing a week earler. The cause of his death is unknown, pending an autopsy and toxicology reports, although authorities say they don’t think it was suicide.
In May yet another black bear dragged a 65-year old man from an outhouse near Sioux Lookout, Ont. The bear bit him on the back of his head and neck, before being shot by the man’s camping companion.
While black bears can be dangerous in certain circumstances, fatal attacks are uncommon. Tips on surviving an encounter unscathed include keeping your distance, making your presence known to the bear and, in the event of a “bluff charge,” maintaining eye contact and speaking in a soft voice to the animal while slowly backing away.
– With files from Emily Olesen