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B.C. woman comes face to face with black bear on Vancouver Island

Peggy Street’s curiosity led her to danger, but black bear was preoccupied
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A black bear joins fishers at Campbell River during salmon spawning season. Peggy Street said she didn’t even see the bear when she took the photo. It was only after speaking to some of those in the photo that she was made aware there was a bear in the area. (Photo by Peggy Street)

A Comox Valley photographer caught a black bear fishing with a group in Campbell River on Sunday, Oct. 1. According to the photographer, Peggy Street, the bear later surprised her in a close encounter.

When attempting to get a better shot, Street walked down a pathway, and met the bear face-to-face.

“I went around the corner,” said Street, “and the bear was there, sitting on its haunches. We just locked eyes.”

Street said instinct kicked in when she backed up slowly, rounded the corner, and then sped away on foot.

She arrived safely to the group of fishers, and stayed to catch her breath. The bear later approached the group, within 10 feet of a family with a small dog, but was uninterested by the group.

“It was not worried about people at all,” Street said. “It was just worried about fishing.”

The salmon spawning season on Vancouver Island spans from September to December. At this time, fishers, bears and seals share common space as they flock to rivers to catch fish.

The encounter in Campbell River happened near Haig-Brown Heritage House at around 3 p.m. Fishers consider the location a good spot, as salmon pause nearby during their journey upstream.

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Connor McDowell

About the Author: Connor McDowell

Started at the Record in May 2023. He studied journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax
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