‘She’s charging. Oh God’: Mama grizzly runs at B.C. man armed with shotgun

People online were quick to question – and defend – a man’s decision to shoot a grizzly bear charging him on a Bella Coola front yard

A chilling confrontation between a man with a shotgun and a grizzly bear in Bella Coola has left many questioning the man’s reaction.

In a video posted Oct. 14, a man is seen trying to scare away the mother grizzly and her three cubs who are playing on a set of trees on his property.

Shotgun in hand, he walks past his dog on the lawn towards the group, before firing a warning shot.

The person who uploaded the incident to YouTube, who calls himself J LM and identifies as the man in the video, wrote that he was using a 12-gauge shotgun, loaded with three bird shot shells “with the intention of shooting into the air to scare them away.”

After two warning shots, the camera appears to be dropped, before a woman can be heard saying “She’s charging. Oh, God.”

The camera then brings the man back into view. The man fires at the charging bear, knocking her onto her back for a few seconds before she gets up and continues to chase him.

READ MORE: Habitat loss greatest threat to B.C. grizzly bears

READ MORE: Conservation officers relocate two grizzlies away from Bella Coola

“I didn’t want to blind her by hitting her in the face so aimed at her right side to hopefully trip her up to buy me enough time to run inside the house,” the man wrote.

“I waited as long as I could, until she was just across the driveway and then I hazed her, which did trip her up so I turned and ran inside the house.”

The man is heard breathing heavily off-camera as the woman asks where the bear went. The video clips ends.

“She kept coming towards the house with her mouth open, ready to bite me, and I slammed the door, the last thing I remember was gravel hitting my truck as she turned and ran back (four limbs working fine) and took her cubs away,” the man said.

The hair-raising incident had been viewed more than 16,000 times as of Tuesday afternoon.

According to the man, he had just returned from a one-week trip and noticed the bears had been climbing on the trees.

He also claims he worked with bears for more than 30 years while working in the fishing industry.

“I talked it over with the local COs, showed them the video, and they said I was totally justified in defending myself and family,” he said. “I’m just glad it was me and not the kids out there.”

The BC Conservation Officer Service is in fact investigating the incident, though officials with the environment ministry wouldn’t speak further on the matter.

Mixed reaction to man’s decision to fire shotgun

The small community of Bella Coola on the central coast is considered to be part of B.C.’s more remote bear country – which has some questioning the man’s approach to dealing with the mother bear and her babies.

“I’ve watched this a number of times. Why did he go outside? Why not just call his dog. I presume he was in bear country to have grizzlies around. It is reasonable and should be considered pretty wonderful to have them wonder [sic] by,” a YouTube user named Keith said. “If you don’t want bears around stay away from them. This feels pretty senseless and unnecessary to me.”

Said user whitetailsheds: “These scenarios are going to become more frequent in B.C. and Alberta. No grizzly hunt. Ever increasing human population. Combined increasing grizzly population. This is just one made known. More will occur that no one will know about. The ones that will be made known will be the maulings and deaths of the public. Glad you and your family are safe.”

Others are offering words of support.

“Everyone is a critic! I would have done the same thing with the exception of the bird shot. You don’t realize how stressful these situations are unless you have experienced these incidents before. Bears and your family don’t mix,” said user John Smith.

“Right their [sic] is why a gun works better then bear spray,” Devon Harach wrote.

B.C.’s conservation officer service urges residents to call the Report All Poachers and Polluters line or local RCMP if a bear appears to be threatening, persistent or aggressive and not to resolve any conflict themselves.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Comox Strathcona Waste Management is planning webinars for the public to see the preliminary designs for the new composting facility. Photo CSWM
Preliminary designs for CSWM composting facility released

CSWM wants feedback on designs, holding two webinars next week

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Campbell River automobile dealership reports positive COVID test result

Campbell River automobile dealership Steve Marshall Ford has announced a temporary closure… Continue reading

The Campbell River and District Coalition to End Homelessness will be working towards having people with lived experience of homelessness at the table with a new peer advisory group. Photo courtesy Zoom.
Campbell River Coalition to End Homelessness to include people with lived experience at the table

Coalition and Urban Indigenous Housing group starting peer advisory working group

Greg Janicki (left), owner of Dogwood Pet Mart rasied $410 this year for the Campbell River SPCA’s Loonies for Love fundraiser which he presented to Stephanie Arkwright, branch manager of the BCSPCA – Campbell River Community Animal Centre. Photo contributed
Pandemic doesn’t stop annual Loonies for Love SPCA fundraiser

Fundraising has been a bit challenging over the past year, but the… Continue reading

NIC Engineering student Johnny Marshall lowers a prototype oyster grow-out system into the ocean for testing in Campbell River. Photo courtesy NIC
NIC partners with Cortes shellfish company on oyster research

Study and testing hoping to mitigate the impacts of warming oceans on oyster mortality

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Most Read