April Migneault got home from work Sunday evening and found that a bear had been in her kitchen and stole some chips.
She had left the back deck door open to let some air in as the temperature reached 24.2 C outside Sunday, according to Environment Canada, as recorded at Pitt Meadows Regional Airport on the Victoria Day long weekend.
“Bear in our house today,” she wrote on Facebook.
“It’s our own mistake, but today our upstairs back deck door was left open while we were out. A bear that’s been in our back forest came inside the house and tried to get into the dog food, it tore open a bag of oats and then took off with a bag of tortilla chips.”
The bag of oats was ripped open and spread all over the kitchen floor, she wrote further.
“I didn’t notice the chips until we found the bear eating the chips behind the fence.”
Migneault lives in the Balsam Creek neighbourhood of Silver Valley in east Maple Ridge and returned home around 6:3o p.m.
The bear was on the ground behind her back fence eating the chips, she said.
Her dog got outside and chased the bear up a tree, where it remained for a while.
Four bears have been shot in Maple Ridge so far this spring – three of them confirmed killed – and eight total in the North Fraser Zone, which stretches from Anmore, west of the Tri-Cities, to Deroche.
Two of those were shot in Silver Valley in Maple Ridge last week.
According to the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, bears are emerging from inactive periods at this time of year and searching for food.
Both the Conservation Officer Service and Maple Ridge Wildsafe recommend:
• taking garbage to the trash the morning of pickup, not the night before;
• wrapping and freezing bones, waste meat and other highly attractive garbage before putting it out;
• not to leave pet food outside;
• filling bird feeders only during harsh winter weather as seed attracts bears, as well as deer and rats, and therefore the animals that prey on them – coyotes and cougars.
• The Ministry of Environment Report All Poachers and Polluters line is 1-877-952-RAPP to report wildlife conflicts.