Take precautions if you go into bear country this long weekend, officials warn

Reminder follows two recent bear attacks near Williams Lake and in Prince George

Conservation officials in B.C. are warning people who go out in bear country to take precautions, following two attacks in the last week.

On May 13, a mushroom picker was attacked by a bear in Puntzi Lake, about 185 kilometres west of Williams Lake. His right leg was injured, and the bear followed him back to his car before going to look for food at a nearby campsite.

“This was a predatory attack,” said Chris Doyle with the BC Conservation Officer Service. “It’s a good reminder for people who are hiking or working in bear country to carry bear spray.”

On May 17, a jogger and his dog had to fight off a black bear while on a trail near the University of Northern B.C. campus in Prince George. The bear had been defending her two cubs.

With the May long weekend approaching, Doyle reminded the public to ensure food and garbage are not accessible to bears at campsites.

People should also not stop to photograph or feed bears they see while driving, causing “bear jams.”

A grizzly bear with three cubs charged a car recently in the Skeena region, Doyle said, and a black bear had to be euthanized after it collided with a minivan, also in the Skeena.

A YouTube video that surfaced of a driver stopping to feed a bear in Tofino is still being investigated, he added.