The Conservation Officer Service of Vancouver is “urging the public to take precautions in the Pitt Meadows area” after a possible black bear mauling.
Bear encounters are changing with the times. Ursines have been predators of humankind for as long as both have existed. Yet as we continue to push further into their habitats, bear species are becoming more and more likely to view modern humanity as possible prey.
In Vancouver, both the BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) and the RCMP are currently investigating the “possibility of an animal attack” this week. A woman’s body found in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia is the cause for concern. According to the COS – she may be the victim of a black bear mauling.
The unidentified woman’s body was found in a blueberry farm field on Old Dewdney Truck Road near the intersection of McKechnie Road on August 15. As a result, “The Conservation Officer Service is urging the public to take precautions in the Pitt Meadows area… Where a woman’s body was found as they investigate the possibility of an animal attack,” COS posts to their official Facebook page over the weekend.
Currently, “The COS is continuing to assist the RCMP in their investigation… And are working to determine whether an animal, such as a black bear, may [be responsible for] this incident.”
The organization cites that officials,” including Predator Attack Team specialists, remained at the site on Friday as the investigation continues.”
In addition, the COS is asking the public to immediately report any sightings. Locals should also report any black bear encounters or aggressive behavior in the area.
Possible Black Bear Mauling Adds to Concerning, Climbing Number of Ursine Fatalities
Report any of the above to the Report All Poachers and Polluters hotline at 1-877-952-7277. Moreover, the COS provides tips on what to do if you encounter a bear. For this, alongside other safety advice, click here.
As the investigation continues, locals are reaching out to voice their concern over the possible mauling
One local Vancouver citizen replies that they “saw a very big black bear the day before this lady was found… In the field next to where her body was.”
If the COS confirms the woman as the casualty of a black bear, it comes on the heels of a 26-year-old Alberta woman’s mauling by a black bear earlier in August. She was only the fifth casualty of the species in the Canadian province since 1958.
That victim, a helicopter engineer, would die in the province’s north-west region. Tragically, the 26-year-old was mauled to death by a large black bear while planting trees in a remote region.
North Carolina also has their first confirmation of a victim’s death by a black bear on record this month. He would die while camping within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
For more on how to avoid and survive a black bear encounter, visit Outsider’s Surviving a Black Bear: How to Prevent Encounters and Deter an Attack.