Weekends are normally quiet in The Record’s neighbourhood in the 700 block of McPhee Avenue in Courtenay.
But around 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, a large black bear appeared in the lot next door.
After sniffing around for several minutes, the bear crossed McPhee and walked down the sidewalk on Eighth Avenue before slipping into a narrow space between two houses. It wound up in a backyard, and again sniffed the ground for several minutes.
The bear then went to a neighbouring yard which had an apple tree, into which it climbed.
The conservation service was alerted to the situation. Attending officers had no choice but to put the bear down.
Allison Brown happened upon the scene while driving in the area with her son. Before Saturday’s incident, she notes the animal had been sleeping in a yard nearby on Menzies Avenue.
“He (CO) said that it had been in the neighbourhood for the last month, and that he had to put him down because he was a threat to people because he’s not scared of people any more,” Brown said. “He said, ‘Look how close you are to him. You’re only six feet away from him, and he’s not afraid of you.’
“My son was very upset because it got put down, but he understood that it had to get put down.”
The attending officer was not available for comment by press time because he was dealing with another bear at a Cumberland residence.
Anyone who sees a bear is encouraged to call the 24-hour reporting line at 1-877-952-7277.