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Bear spotted in Coquitlam Centre parking lot
A stressed out bear is probably hiding in a ravine after wandering into the Coquitlam Centre parking lot at 10:30 a.m. this (Wednesday) morning.
A member of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service reports that several people called in a bear sighting at the busy shopping mall, and one person said the bear was being chased by people taking its photograph.
"That is kind of concerning behaviour for me," officer Kyle Ackles said, adding that the bear could have responded with a threatening attack.
"If the animal was potentially cornered and didn't have an escape route it could have been a dangerous situation," he said.
Instead, the bear got out of the area and it's human behaviour that's under scrutiny.
Ackles said the bear has been spotted in and around the Town Centre area for a few weeks, likely drawn to people's unsecured garbage.
He says people should respect the fact that bears are wild and shouldn't approach them, even with cameras. Garbage and other wildlife attractants should also be secured to avoid luring bears into neighbourhoods.
"I'd like to remind people to be diligent to avoid attracting wildlife," Ackles said, noting that there are still a few more months of fall before bears hibernate and it's a period when they must fatten up before they head to their dens.