British Columbia conservation officers say they believe a black bear that bit a young girl in North Vancouver Friday was food-conditioned and habituated to humans.
The Conservation Officer Service says it expects the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve where the incident happened to remain closed for at least five days as the search continues for the animal.
The Conservation Officer Service says the 10-year-old girl was walking along the Rice Lake Loop trail with her family when a black bear approached them on Friday afternoon.
As the family and a bystander tried to scare the bear away, the service says the bear bit the girl’s leg.
She was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries and no one else was hurt.
The service says it has received multiple sightings of a small black bear in the park and conservation officers found discarded food and garbage in the area.
“COs believe the bear is exhibiting signs it was food-conditioned and habituated to humans,” the service says in a statement.
The forested trails in the park are surrounded by wildlife and the service is urging the public be cautious when outside.
It recommends walking in groups, making noise and carrying bear spray. Never feed or approach bears or other wildlife, it says.
“The COS urges the public to secure all attractants as the best way to help prevent wildlife conflicts, whether at home or outside.”
The park is closed to the public until further notice and the investigation is ongoing.