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

Just Posted

Snowfall warning for Kootenay and Paulson passes

Up to 30 cm expected in mountain passes Saturday and Sunday.

Monkey Do’s Childcare talks expansion, government funding

The B.C. Government has been working to improve childcare in the province… Continue reading

Moose tests positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in northwest Montana

This is the first time the disease has been detected in the species in Montana

Max’s Place celebrates 25 years in business

On Friday, Nov. 15 Max’s Place, a beloved Cranbrook bakery and coffee… Continue reading

Family of man missing for three years issues plea for information

Daniel Curtis Ladd was last seen leaving his home in Cranbrook in August 2016

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Dallas Smith, Terri Clark to perform on CP Holiday Train’s B.C. stops

Annual festive food bank fundraiser rolling across province from Dec. 11 to 17

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Most Read