A dog walker suffered minor injuries after an incident with a bear at Matheson Lake Regional Park earlier this week.
According to conservation officer Peter Pauwels, the incident took place on Monday, Aug. 27 around 1 p.m. when three people were walking their dogs off-leash at the park in Metchosin.
The dogs ran ahead and got into an altercation with a black bear, which based on its size was believed to be between two to three years old. The dogs then retreated to their owners, but the bear continued to chase them. During the pursuit, the bear knocked over one of the women, scratching her.
Pauwels said the bear may have gotten into a “scuffle” with one of the dogs before taking off.
“There’s a lot of places in the [Capital Regional District] that are considered bear country and in any of those it’s no advisable to have dogs off-leash or out of your control,” he said. “ This can happen at many different places, not just Matheson Lake – the Galloping Goose or East Sooke Park. Bears and dogs usually don’t get along.”
Chris Doyle, deputy chief of the British Columbia Conservation Officer Service, said the incident serves as a good reminder to pet owners.
“Many conflicts with bears are caused by off-leash dogs, so we’re reminding owners to control their pets, especially when in bear country,” he said.
Residents who have concerning encounters with wildlife can call 1-877-952-7277.