While walking on Clarke Street in Port Moody, I came across a group of men all staring into some bushes where a young black bear was hiding. Apparently, these men had gone to work only to find out they couldn't because this bear was happily eating apples on the adjoining property. They had watched for a while and then decided to try and shoo it away with loud noises from a shovel and hammer. This only succeeded in getting the bear to run and hide between the building and the fence.
Someone had called the Port Moody Police and I am thrilled to tell you that these two officers not only did their job but had a great sense of humour.
When I initially saw the gun, I asked the officer if he was going to kill the bear. He responded, "Oh yes, we are going to shoot it" and then laughed and said, "No, these are beanbag bullets. They won't hurt the bear, just scare it." He then showed me the bullet.
I was impressed that he took the time to show and explain this to me. The two officers surveyed the area around the bear and decided which was the best direction to scare him off. One small pop was all I heard and the bear took off running.
The gentleman with the shovel and hammer proceeded to make noise to keep the bear from returning to Clarke Street. The officers made sure the bear ran across the alley into the bushes. This story could have ended very differently.
At this point in the season, bears are eating their last meals trying to stock up for a long hibernation. With all the construction and depletion of their land, they are coming into town to find food. Most of these bears do not get relocated. This bear incident had a happy ending but I hope that bear does not return and get labelled a "problem bear" - we all know what happens to them.
Thanks to the Port Moody Police officers who responded, they were great guys.
Calais McNabb, Port Moody