Man in Whistler hot tub attacked by bear 0
A black bear that attacked a man relaxing in a hot tub in Whistler has been caught and destroyed by Mounties.
The 55-year-old Coquitlam man was soaking in a backyard hot tub Sunday afternoon with his back to the forest, when he was swiped in the back of the head, launching him forward in the tub.
Turning around, he found himself face to face with a mature black bear. The man, identified by CTV News as Dave Anderson, yelled at it while retreating back inside the home.
"I had blood all over me," the insurance agent told the television broadcaster.
Called to the scene, Whistler Mounties spotted the bruin about 100 metres away as it walked into a wooded area. They tracked and shot it.
"Anytime a bear behaves aggressively toward a human, it will be destroyed," Sgt. Steve LeClair said.
The man - whose identity hasn't been released - was hospitalized for slashes to his head. He's since been released, police said.
The reason for the attack is unclear. The Conservation Officer's Service is investigating, and a necropsy will be performed to try to determine the bear's motivation.
"It doesn't make a lot of sense. It's really unusual but we're going to get to the bottom of it," said B.C. conservation officer David Cox. "It's not something people should live in fear of every time they're in their hot tub."
Cox said there are various reasons it might have attacked, such as people feeding animals in the area, or poor garbage habits.
"Or the animal could have some sort of disease or parasite from the wild. It could be all congested, full of garbage and sick," Cox said.
According to the North American Bear Centre, bears are attracted to hot tub covers - like refrigerator walls, snowmobile and golf cart seats - because they produce formic acid when the insulation breaks down, making them smell like ant colonies.
At this time of year, bears are still trying to fatten up after winter hibernation, Cox said, though there have been fewer than usual sighting and interactions so far this season.
Sunday morning a mama bear and cub were seen on SFU's Burnaby campus on University Drive East, by Discovery Park and the bike trails. That night a bear was spotted on University Drive East near Gaglardi Way.
"We've had a few reports of some bear activity . up in the SFU area that haven't been causing too much of an issue other than sightings," he said, noting it was a low-risk situation. "Obviously it's a concern anytime we've got wildlife hanging near areas like schools or high density populated areas.
"There's still quite a bit of bush and habitat up there for them to behave themselves. But we're monitoring it."