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Mountain biker killed by bear in BC

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Old July 24th 07, 04:34 AM posted to alt.mountain-bike,rec.bicycles.soc,rec.backcountry,ca.environment,sci.environment
Mike Vandeman
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Posts: 4,798
Default Mountain biker killed by bear in BC

Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2007 09:34:46 -0700
Subject: Mountain biker killed by bear in BC

Mountain bikers go too fast downhill to be aware of their
surroundings, surprising and scaring the wildlife. Mountain biking
can, in this case, be very detrimental to one's health.

[a friend]


Bear attack suspected in mountain biker's death

Linda Nguyen
Vancouver Sun

Monday, July 23, 2007

Members of the RCMP are investigating what appears to be the
province's latest bear attack after the body of a 34-year-old woman
was found near Invermere Sunday. The woman had set off Saturday on the
mountain biking trails at Panorama Mountain Village resort, about 19
kilometres west of Invermere in southeastern B.C.

She was reported missing at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. A search and rescue
team found her near the Panorama Mountain Bike Park around 5:30 a.m.
Sunday, Sarah Harrison with the Ministry of Environment said. A black
bear was found hovering over the woman's body.

"They located her with the bear guarding the body at the time. The
bear was alive and the body wasn't," she said.

Harrison said the bear was shot and killed by an RCMP officer, before
the province's conservation officers arrived at the scene.

It's unclear if the bear, estimated to be about 54 kilograms (120
pounds), had in fact fatally attacked the woman.

"They don't know whether the bear was the cause or whether it was just
there," said Mark Woodburn, vice-president of Panorama Mountain

The ministry is investigating the incident and an autopsy will be done
on the bear to determine if it had killed the woman. An autopsy will
also be done on the woman. The mountain operations were closed Sunday
as RCMP and conservation officers investigated the incident.

"We're all shocked and saddened; something like this has never
happened before," said Eric Whittle, Panorama's director of sales and

During the summer, the mountain is a popular spot for mountain bikers
who can ride up chair lifts and ride down steep trails with varying
degrees of difficulty.

Another incident involving mountain bikers and bears occurred on the
weekend, when a couple near Banff found themselves face-to-face with a
grizzly bear who was protecting her young. The young Jasper couple
were on the Lake Minnewanka Trail around 8:15 p.m. Saturday when they
came upon two grizzly cubs. The grizzly sow charged at the 22-year-old
woman and the 32-year-old man from behind, forcing the two to jump off
their bikes and make a run for it.

The two ran down to the lake, stumbling and falling on rocks as the
bear huffed very close to the man. The sow and cubs then left the
area. The man and woman were taken to hospital with minor cuts and

A Clinton man was also lucky last week after surviving a bear attack
during a morning bike ride July 16. Roy Klopp, 56, encountered an
unusually aggressive bear around 11 a.m. on one of the walking trails
above Clinton near the Cariboo Highway in the Kamloops-Thompson

The 90-kilogram bear tried to attack Klopp, a sawmill worker, while
his two dogs attempted to fend it off.

He escaped with minor injuries only after the young bear bit him in
the behind.

Barbara Murray of Bear Matters BC said such incidents can be prevented
if cyclists take some precautions.

"People have to be bear aware in the woods," she said. "Look for bear
scat on the trail, look for animal carcasses or a big berry bush. You
have to be very alert and listen to cracking branches."

Murray said bears often attack because they're scared by cyclists.
"Usually most bears aren't dangerous. They get surprised and try to do
something, especially when they have cubs. But it only takes one swat
from a bear to kill a person," she said.

Earlier this month, two forestry workers also encountered a bear near
Invermere. The July 4 attack happened near Akinkoom Creek, 50
kilometres east of Canal Flats.

With files from CanWest News Service
The Vancouver Sun 2007
I am working on creating wildlife habitat that is off-limits to
humans ("pure habitat"). Want to help? (I spent the previous 8
years fighting auto dependence and road construction.)

Please don't put a cell phone next to any part of your body that you are fond of!


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