A quick-thinking mother in B.C. used her van’s panic alarm to scare off a bear that had climbed into her open vehicle while a child sat inside.

Conservation officers say the Coquitlam woman and one of her children went inside to grab some groceries while the other child waited in the vehicle. When they came back outside, a bear had climbed into the van and was eating a bag of oats.

The mother then quickly used the vehicle’s panic alarm to scare off the bear, which then ran into the backyard with the oats.

“I just want to drive home how serious this could’ve been…especially with a child close by,” Conservation Officer Eric Tyukodi told CTV Vancouver. “(They’re) very, very lucky that nothing occurred.”

Conservation officers have not been able to find the bear and have set up a trap in the family’s front yard.

The bear appeared to have a pair of ear tags, meaning it had been re-located twice before and conservation officers will likely need to put it down if found again.

Tyukodi said the end of summer is a busy time for conservation officers.

“This is the time of year when our call volume does increase,” he said. “Their food sources are starting to dry up, their berries are starting to dry up.”

With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Ben Miljure