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

Firefighters battling two blazes on Highway 1 south of Ashcroft

Highway has reopened to single-lane, alternating traffic led by a pilot car so expect delays

Fires on Highway 1, CN mainline keep Ashcroft firefighters busy

Two vehicle fires and a rail fire sparked within an 11-day span

Reports on seniors’ needs, downtown show way forward for Cache Creek

‘I hope they won’t gather dust’ says Cache Creek mayor

Counselling support available for those impacted by wildfires

New, confidential, free service in region designed for families or individuals

Local News Briefs: Come out and rock

Join Rawkn’ Art Camp participants as they show off their accomplishments, and stay for a concert

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Toronto activist calling on federal parties to nominate more black candidates

Fewer than 20 black Canadians have been nominated so far, including some Liberal MPs seeking re-election

Most Read