Ben McGuffie lost one goat to the bear, but was able to protect the other two by throwing a rock at the grizzly. Photo courtesy Ben McGuffie

Ben McGuffie lost one goat to the bear, but was able to protect the other two by throwing a rock at the grizzly. Photo courtesy Ben McGuffie

Quadra Island farmer throws rock at grizzly to protect goats

Conservation Officers asking people to call RAPP number immediately if they see the bear

A Quadra Island farmer first noticed something was up when one of his goats was missing on Monday morning.

Ben McGuffie operates the SouthEnd Farm Winery on the island. His Monday started like any other. But after 9 a.m., when he noticed one of his goats was not in the pen where it should have been, his day took a turn.

“We spent most of the day looking through the woods, myself, my wife, my children, all sorts of neighbours and their children, all walking through the woods and trying to find the missing goat,” McGuffie said. “We gave up towards the end of the day and hope that she had just kind of wandered off and would come back, which would have been highly unusual.”

It wasn’t until nightfall when he found out what had happened.

“Around 9:50 p.m. or so we noticed our two other goats were acting strangely. They took off from where they usually stand, so I got out of bed and stuck my head out the door to see what was going on. I noticed one of the goats was running very fast through the pen and something large and brown was behind it,” he said.

“I jumped out, my wife Jill was right behind me. We grabbed whatever was at hand and went out and yelled at it. One of the goats came through the pen and came past us on the far side of the fence. The bear followed it along. It did stop when we yelled at it, it didn’t run away. It wasn’t until I actually threw a rock at it and hit it that it ran off.”

RELATED: Camper finds decapitated bear carcass west of Campbell River

The grizzly bear has been spotted on the island for around a month now, but this is the first time it has threatened or attacked any livestock or people on the island. Quadra Island hasn’t traditionally been grizzly bear territory but is in the vicinity of North Island bear sightings that are becoming more frequent in recent years.

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service said they are aware of the bear, and that the bear has travelled to the more populated areas of the island. They were at the winery on Tuesday, McGuffie said, where they set up a live trap and some game cameras, hoping to catch the animal.

“They came over first thing in the morning, had a look around and tried to find the missing goat, thinking it would lead them to the bear,” McGuffie said. “Now we just have to wait for the bear to reappear. We haven’t seen it, haven’t seen any posts on social media from people who have. It’s quite possibly sitting on the remains of our goat, finishing that off, sadly.”

The Conservation Officer Service is consulting with provincial wildlife biologists to determine the proper course of action once and if the bear is caught. In the meantime, they are asking the public to ensure their property is free of attractants and livestock is kept under lock and key.

“People should also ensure they do not walk their pets off-leash and they always take the appropriate precautions when walking on trails,” they added.

McGuffie, who has lived on the property since the 1970s, said this is the first time he has seen a bear near his home.

“We may get one black bear every year or two down on this end, but they typically stick close to the shore and wouldn’t come up even this far.”

RELATED: Stay away from grizzly bear on North Island, conservation officer warns



marc.kitteringham@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

bearsConservationLocal NewsQuadra Island

Just Posted

Local hiker Kara Ruff captured this double rainbow hiking Ripple Rock near Campbell River on June 15. Photo courtesy Kara Ruff.
Local hiker captures double rainbow

Double rainbow photographed from Ripple Rock trail viewpoint

BC Ferries’ newest Island Class vessel is experiencing an issue with one of its thrusters off the Algerian coast. Photo courtesy patbaywebcam.com.
BC Ferries newest vessel having mechanical issues in Mediterranean

Island 4 will be repaired in Spain before crossing Atlantic

A Photo from Sept. 2020, when First Nations and wild salmon advocates took to the streets in Campbell River to protest against open-pen fish farms in B.C.’s waters. On Dec. 17, federal fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan announced her decision to phase out 19 fish farms from Discovery Islands. Cermaq’s application to extend leases and transfer smolts was denied. (Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror)
Discovery Island fish farms not allowed to restock

Transfer of 1.5 million juvenile salmon, licence extension denied

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read