Midnight pie snackin' will cost Peace River bear his life
Font: * * * * Scott Hornby, CanWest News Service; Edmonton Journal
Published: Thursday, May 04, 2006
EDMONTON - He was just after the bear necessities.
A black bear wandered into a grocery store in Peace River, Alta., late Tuesday, with one thing on his mind. Sweets
"He jumped up into the bakery case, he tested a few things out and he really liked the strawberry mousse,'' said store night manager Trevor Allen.
Before he found the pastries, the bear spent a few minutes wandering the aisles, apparently doing a little comparison shopping, he said.
The bear got into the 24-hour store simply by walking through the automated doors. There were only a few customers in the store at that time of night.
One customer was slightly injured when he tried to snap a picture of the bear.
"When (the bear) was sitting in the bakery case, this guy came up with a camera phone and he was sticking it right in his face,'' Allen said.
"The bear Edidn't like that much.''
The man received a "superficial wound'' to his hand when the bear bit him, said Lyle Fullerton, a spokesman for the Fish and Wildlife service in Peace River. He said it's dangerous to approach a bear, with or without a camera phone for protection.
Since it injured a person, the bear will have to be killed when it's caught, Fullerton said.
Though the store staff thought it was male, Fullerton said he couldn't confirm the sex of the bear.
He said it was probably only one or two years old, but even a young bear can weigh over 100 pounds
"A 100 pound black bear can do some very serious damage to a human,'' Fullerton said.
"The individuals that were involved there were extremely lucky that the bear was in a good mood, probably because of all the pies he ate.''
He added that it's not uncommon for bears to wander into Peace River to forage for food at this time of year.
The bear devoured about 15 cakes before it had its fill.
Allen had already rushed the other four staff members into a side room for safety, when he saw that the bear was looking to get out.
"I just kinda called at him. He calmly walked over, so I kept calling at him Eand when he saw the doors he just went out.''
A trap has been set near the store, but so far the bear hasn't been caught.