'She's charging!': Man shoots grizzly bear in yard encounter
Jackie Dunham, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Wednesday, October 24, 2018 10:30AM EDT
WARNING: Some viewers may find the video in this story disturbing
B.C. conservation officers are investigating after a man shot a charging grizzly bear in his yard in a terrifying encounter caught on camera.
Lawrence Michalchuk fired two shots into the air in an attempt to scare off a mother grizzly bear and its three cubs that had wandered into his yard in Bella Coola, B.C. earlier this month.
“It’s basically just to shoot in the air to make noise to scare them away,” he told CTV Vancouver on Tuesday.
The warning shots appeared to work as the bear and its cubs could be seen retreating towards the forest in a video of the confrontation shared online.
To hurry the animals off of his property, Michalchuk said he ran out into the yard to yell at the female grizzly bear to “keep her moving” along.
“As soon as I did that she just put her ears down and head back and came [at me] full blast,” he recalled.
In the video, a woman watching the events unfold from behind a window can be heard exclaiming as the bear turns to run towards Michalchuk.
“She’s charging!” the woman yelled. “Oh God.”
Michalchuk, whose gun was loaded with birdshot, then shoots the bear in the right front leg and the large animal topples over and rolls down the hill a couple of times.
“Thank God it worked because it tripped her,” Michalchuk said. “All I wanted to do is trip her. I dove in the door as quick as I could and I slammed the door and then she turned back towards her cubs.”
Michalchuk said bears in the area have become more comfortable with humans because of the rising popularity of bear tourism in the region. He said conservation officers he spoke with told him he was justified in shooting the grizzly.
“That bear was not gonna leave,” he said. “It probably worked out good because the bear’s alive and I’m alive.”
The B.C. Conservation Officer Service confirmed to CTV Vancouver that they’re investigating the incident.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Shannon Paterson