With a dealership at the edge of Spencer Creek nestled near a luscious green belt, the staff at Maple Ridge Hyundai are used to wildlife wandering through their car lot.
“We see bears, deer, beavers, coyotes,” says owner Dave Wyant, who has another funny animal story to tell following a power outage caused by a beaver Tuesday.
A tree chewed by a beaver, building a dam in the nearby creek, toppled onto power lines, knocking out power to a large swath of east Maple Ridge.
More than 2,800 customers were affected at the height of the outage, according to B.C. Hydro, including Wyant’s Hyundai dealership.
The outage triggered open the dealership’s main garage door.
While the door was open, a black bear wandered in, followed sometime later by a would-be thief, who noticed the ajar portal from the street and broke through the dealership’s gate, triggering a security alarm.
“We were joking it was probably some crack head who thought Christmas had come early,” Wyant said with a laugh.
Around 15 minutes later, when Hyundai’s security company came to check, the guard found a lock on the gate broken, the gate ajar and something amiss inside the dealership.
The guard walked into the pitch black store only to stumble upon a big, black bear seated between two cars and the service department.
“The bear got scared off by Dave, and Dave got scared off by him,” said Wyant, adding the security guard “Dave” took refuge indoors and called police.
Police arrived and checked the dealership, but did not find the thief or any other bruins.
Wyant’s glad he has an assortment of wildlife ambling through his dealership.
“The bear was a great backup security device,” he added.
Only call 911 if the bear is being aggressive or if you are in immediate danger.
If you see a bear that is going about its regular business – walking through your yard, trails, or open park spaces – don’t panic.
“Leave it alone and do not cut off its escape path. It is normal for bears to roam through urban areas, especially as development encroaches on wild space,” said Cpl. Alanna Dunlop.
You can report the sighting to the Conservation Office 24 hours hotline at 1-877-952-RAPP. Only call 911, if you are in immediate danger.