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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: Traffic moving again after single-vehicle crash on Kelowna’s Bennett Bridge

Traffic looks to be flowing again on the northbound lanes of the bridge

New coach hits off new season with Kelowna Falcons

Kelowna Falcons name Hayden Pewitt as manager

Lake Country man accused of sexual assault found not guilty due to alibi

Justice Dennis Hori determined a reasonable doubt in the Crown’s case against Robert Copeland

UBC to be first Canadian institution to join open science platform

The new service aims to make transparency, collaboration and reproducibility easier

Top spots to watch the Superbowl in Kelowna

A look at venues with great deals, big screens and game-level volume

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Watch out for scams, clickbait in the wake of Kobe Bryant’s death: Better Business Bureau

Kobe Bryant and his daughter were killed in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles

Calgary man dies in snowmobiling incident near Revelstoke

Boulder Mountain is a popular snowmobiling area west of the city

Kamloops killer who claims victim stabbed himself has appeal dismissed

Gordon Camille was sentenced to 6 years in a federal penitentiary following a 2018 manslaughter conviction

‘Very disrespectful’: Headstones at Okanagan cemetery damaged by excavation crew

Headstones at Enderby’s Cliffside Cemetery mistakenly driven over by excavation crew

Despite reports of decline, birds flocking to national parks in Canadian Rockies

Recent studies suggest overall bird population has slid by three billion since 1970

Former UN committee member defends stance on B.C.’s Coastal GasLink pipeline

First Nations LNG Alliance accused UN committee, human rights watchdog of not doing their research

Fundraiser launched for missing Vernon man

GoFundMe campaign already at halfway mark of $5K goal

Most Read