VIDEO: Bear won’t be euthanized after biting toddler at B.C. zoo

VIDEO: Bear won’t be euthanized after biting toddler at B.C. zoo

Two-year-old girl flown to hospital after black bear bites her arm at Greater Vancouver Zoo

The black bear that bit a toddler at the Greater Vancouver Zoo will not be euthanized, the B.C. Conservation Officer Service says

In a statement, Insp. Murray Smith said a black bear bit the two-year-old girl’s arm on Monday, after which the bear enclosure at the zoo in Aldergrove was shut down and the child rushed to hospital. The status of her condition has not been released.

The girl, named Sophia, and her mother were celebrating B.C. Day with a trip to the zoo when something went terribly wrong.

Animal care manager Menita Prasad said the child had gotten into a staff-only area, and that the zoo’s primary concern is her and her family.

Greater Vancouver Zoo's animal care manager Menita Prasad gives an update on yesterday’s incident in which a black bear bit a two-year-old girl. Story: https://www.aldergrovestar.com/news/2-year-old-airlifted-to-hospital-from-zoo-after-alleged-bear-bite/

Posted by Aldergrove Star on Tuesday, August 6, 2019

“The team at the zoo are deeply shocked and saddened by the accident that occurred yesterday and we are working on all fronts to gather all the information with all parties involved,” Prasad said.

Three orphaned black bear cubs live in the enclosure in the zoo’s far southeast corner.

The distance between the first gate and the enclosure, where the toddler was bitten, “ranges from four to five feet,” she added. “The distance is meant to be more than an average person’s arm’s reach.”

Even zoo workers do not maintain close contact with any of the large exotic animals, including the bears.

“We recognize that there is always room for improvement,” Prasad said. “If there are areas for improvement, then yes, we will make the necessary changes.”

READ MORE: Greater Vancouver Zoo takes in black bear siblings

Accidents can happen anywhere, she added, telling parents to keep their children safe.

Visitors to the zoo on Tuesday were surprised to hear the news. Jennifer Bauer came up from Bellingham with her daughter, Emma.

“It’s terrifying,” Bauer said, saying it would be sad if the bear had to have been put down.

Aldergrove resident Devoni Wennerstrom, who was there with her three children, was puzzled that the girl was able to get that close.

“There are two sets of fences,” Devoni said. “We tell our children to stay away from the farthest fence.”

Police met with the BC Conservation Officer Service on Tuesday afternoon to determine if a criminal investigation is warranted, said Langley RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Craig van Herk.

The zoo has one grizzly bear and five black bears on its 21-acre property in Aldergrove. It was open during its usual hours Tuesday, with the black bear enclosure cordoned off.

Is there more to this story?

Email: news@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

The administrative headquarters for the Central Okanagan Public Schools. (File photo)
COVID-19 exposures confirmed at 2 Central Okanagan Schools

The infected individuals are self-isolating at home

Farming Karma is set to release a line of fruit vodka sodas soon. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna fruit growers expanding line of beverages

Farming Karma is expanding from fruit sodas to fruit vodka sodas

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Jane Linden
KCR: Volunteering keeps you active

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read