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ICYMI: Bear alert issued after two people charged in Squamish Estuary

Warning: Bears are active in the Squamish Estuary; residents advised to find alternative walking areas and carry bear spray.
Signs warn of bears in the Squamish Estuary.

The public is being asked again to be aware that bears are active in the Squamish Estuary after two people were charged by a black bear on Thursday.

The black bear charged and swatted at them while walking their dog on a leash in the estuary, according to an alert from the District of Squamish.

No physical contact was made, and no one was injured, according to the District.

"Please take precautions in case of wildlife encounters, including travelling in groups and carrying bear spray," the alert reads.

People are urged to find alternative areas to walk their dogs for the time being.

This alert comes after a woman walking her dog in the estuary in early May was attacked by a sow protecting her cubs.

The black bear charged and then bit the woman after the dog ran into the bush, according to the Conservation Officers Service (COS) at the time.

The bear was not captured or put down due to that incident, as it was determined the attack was defensive.

The COS says that it was not able to determine if it is the same bear involved in both incidents. 

When The Squamish Chief visited the entrance to the estuary Thursday afternoon, after the alert went out, at least one person had their dog off-leash.

Conservation Officers are placing additional signage in the area and will respond as necessary “to ensure public safety.”

The public is asked to report all bear conflicts and aggressive bear behaviour to the Conservation Officer Service 24-hour Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline at 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP).

(Learn more about bears in Squamish.)

*This story was updated after it was first posted to include that the COS told The Squamish Chief it could not determine if the same bear was involved in both incidents.