Bear sightings lead to temporary closure of some Maple Ridge trails

Bear sightings lead to temporary closure of some Maple Ridge trails

Conservation officer said there are a couple yearling bears in the Kanaka Creek Regional Park area

It will come as little surprise to most Maple Ridge residents that they share the land they live on with a healthy bear population.

A pair of sightings towards the end of last week in Kanaka Creek Regional Park lead local conservation officers to recommend the trails near Rainbow Bridge be closed for a few days.

Nicole Caithness, a conservation officer for the Fraser North Zone, said there are a couple different yearling or sub-adult bears dispersing in the area.

“It’s very common this time of year. Their mom is trying to kick them out, so they have to fend for themselves, and so they’ve been travelling a lot trying to find their own home range.

She said there were instances on Thursday (June 4) and Saturday (June 6) where hikers reported having encounters with these yearlings, in which the bears were walking down the same trails as people.

“There was no aggression, and there wasn’t any predatory behaviour or anything of concern,” Caithness clarified. “So we just recommended that Metro Vancouver Parks do a short term closure of the trails, just to give the yearlings some space to disperse and try and avoid that conflict.”

READ MORE: Spike of bear calls to Conservation Officer Service prompts calls for prevention

The trails re-opened on Wednesday morning but Caithness said, this time of year, it is always important for hikers to have their wits about them.

“We’re trying to make sure the public’s aware that there’s always going to be bears in Kanaka,” she said. “It’s excellent habitat for them, so the public should always be mindful when they’re out walking with their dogs in that park.

It is imperative that dogs be leashed in the forested areas in Maple Ridge, she noted.

“It’s not just for the bears,” the officer said. “There are cougars, there are coyotes, there’s all sorts of wildlife in that park, and off-leash dogs can trigger negative encounters with pretty much any wild animal, so it’s super important that people keep their dogs on a leash at all times.”

While young bears are not looking to come into conflict with humans, Caithness says any wild animal can be unpredictable.

“People just need to keep their heads about them,” she said. “If they see a bear, speak to it in a calm tone, like, ‘Hey bear, whoa bear,’ and just move out of the area slowly.

“Just give the bear plenty of space to move along on it’s way and that should help avoid most encounters,” she said. “And if the bear is being a little pushy or seeming to approach people, we definitely recommend people carry bear spray when they’re out walking and know how to use it as well.”



ronan.p.odoherty@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

bearsHikingmaple ridge

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RE/MAX LifeStyles Realty donated $3,500 to the Christmas Hamper Society. (Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society/Special to The News)
Christmas hamper deadline extended for residents of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Anyone needing help needs to get in touch with the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society

Jacob Mattson was delighted once he completed 250 laps of the Maple Ridge Secondary School’s track. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge man runs mega-marathon for Movember

Jacob Mattson, 25, only started running frequently nine months ago

Lynn Martin captures this picture of the Golden Ears Mountain from her sundeck on 230th Street in Maple Ridge earlier this year. If forecasters are correct, we could be seeing a fair amount of snow on those mountain peaks again this winter. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Expected view sometime very soon

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

The City of Maple Ridge has cancelled the Christmas Convoy. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)
Santa Claus won’t be coming to Maple Ridge this year

The city’s Christmas Convoy has been cancelled along with photographs at ValleyFair Mall

Poor maps have resulted in hikers being led into dangerous terrain, and rescued by helicopter. (Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue)
Ridge Meadows search team lauds new maps of Golden Ears

Poor online maps led to helicopter rescues earlier this year

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

Paramedics register patients at a drive through, pop-up COVID-19 test centre outside the Canadian Tire Centre, home of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, in Ottawa, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians aren’t currently worried that people in other countries might get a COVID-19 vaccine first. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Canadians not worried other countries will get COVID-19 vaccine first: poll

Forty-one per cent of respondents say they want the vaccine to be mandatory for all Canadians

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
32 family members respond to Abbotsford care home’s plea for staffing help during COVID-19 outbreak

Menno Home asks for relief workers for food service, laundry and housekeeping

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Most Read