VIDEO: Chilliwack man spots black bear, two cubs near Seabird Island

Saw elusive bears twice in a 15-minute span

Simar Kharbanda had never seen anything like it.

The Chilliwack resident was driving along Chaplain Road near Seabird Island when he spotted something in the water – a sow black bear and her two cubs, swimming to land.

“I tried to take pictures, but they disappeared in the bushes,” Kharbanda said. He continued driving, and on his way back, he spotted the mama bear a second time, crossing the road and running into a nearby field, alone.

RELATED: Be bear aware: Seven black bear sightings call in so far in one week

“She ran about 50 metres and stopped and stood on her legs to look for her cubs,” he said. “Seconds later, I saw both cubs cross the road and follow the mom.”

At that point, Kharbanda climbed to his sunroof and started recording video.

“This is the first time I’ve encountered something like this,” Kharbanda said. “I am from India and came to Canada six years ago. I always heard stories about bears but never encountered one so close. It was so cool. I had goosebumps!”

From July 1 to July 29, according to the Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP), there were five wildlife reports this month – three black bears, a grizzly bear and a bobcat. A black bear encounter on July 19 was listed as aggressive. One black bear call was classified as “dead wildlife” while the lone bobcat encounter was “injured/distressed.”

RELATED: WARP: Area wildlife sightings in May included two alleged grizzly sightings

Black bears are much more common in the Agassiz-Harrison area than grizzly bears (though grizzly spotting isn’t unheard of). It’s estimated the population across the province numbers between 120,000 and 150,000 black bears. They typically account for between 14,000 and 25,000 wildlife calls per year and they are most active April through November.

Black bears are omnivorous and eat roughly 80 per cent vegetation, according to WildSafeBC. They may gravitate toward human habitats if food is readily available. Taking preventative measures such as securing garbage, keeping bird seed in a spot that is difficult for them to reach and keeping grills clean and free of drippings would help prevent human-wildlife conflicts.

WildSafe in the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) received approximately 1,100 wildlife calls from January to November. Of these calls, more than 830 were related to black bears.


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
news@ahobserver.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

agassizHarrison Hot SpringsWildlife

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

Just Posted

Seabird Island COVID-19 ‘scare’ has passed, Chief states

Reaffirmation comes during Chief Harris’s weekly video address

SLIDESHOW: Chilliwack firefighters battle large blaze at Rosedale chicken barn Friday

Birds were saved but the buildings on Castleman Road were destroyed by fire

Chilliwack Fair kicks off tonight with local talent

Todd Richard and Appaloosa to hit the stage for drive-in concert at fairgrounds

Firefighters bring Sts’ailes FSR fire under control

Blaze held at bay after burning 15 hectares of land

VIDEO: Chilliwack chicken barn destroyed by fire

Chickens saved from blaze as firefighters work to control large fire

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

PHOTOS: Moving day for 110-year-old Fraser Valley heritage house

Chilliwack heritage house makes 1.7-kilometre journey to new location

Most Read