B.C. man uses dog leash to corral blind bear cub
Nick Wells, CTVNews.ca
Published Friday, October 23, 2015 7:15AM EDT
Conservation officers are sounding a word of caution about the actions of a B.C. man who used a dog leash to capture a blind and deaf bear on his property.
Eric Volpatti, from the small community of Montrose in B.C.'s West Kootenay region, says the animal fell off a retaining wall and landed on his neighbour's driveway on Oct. 9.
"It came out and was bouncing off the walls," Volpatti told CTV News. "Ran across the street right into the front bumper of my truck, then went into my other neighbour’s yard and was just wandering in circles."
It wasn't until the cub wandered onto his property, that he sprang into action.
"I put it on the leash, started walking it around in circles," he said. "The rest is history."
However, Conservation officers aren't thrilled with Volpatti's quick thinking, saying other people faced with the same situation shouldn’t get any ideas.
"Bears are predators by trade... You are taking a huge risk when putting leashes on a wild animal," said Tobe Sprado, with the British Columbia Conservation Officer Service, adding that he would never suggest someone copy Volpatti's actions.
However, Volpatti argues he was simply trying to care for the animal, saying he didn’t want the animal to be hit by any passing vehicles.
And even though he tried his best to be cautious, Volpatti didn't escape unharmed from the interaction.
Thinking the bear was hungry, Volpatti and a neighbour attempted to feed the cub apples from a nearby tree.
After it refused to eat them off the ground, the bear was fed by hand.
"I picked one up and started feeding it out of my hand, and it was like a dog eating apples," Volpatti said.
But the bear bit him on the hand, causing an injury that required several stitches.
RCMP officers eventually arrived to collect the cub. However, due to the bear being sick and weak the animal was euthanized.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Lisa Rossington