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

SLIDESHOW: The Fraser Valley Auto Mall food drive and convoy

Convoy heads down South Fraser Way, delivers food and money to the Archway Food Bank of Abbotsford

Four vehicle accident causing southbound gridlock on Highway 11

Accident occurred around 12:30 p.m. at intersection with Valley Road, ambulance on scene

VIDEO: Canada’s only mobile shower trailer for homeless run by Abbotsford Mennonites

Refresh Mobile Showers started operations on May 1, provided over 550 showers

Mission Festival of Trees wraps up Saturday

Event concludes with reading of A Child’s Christmas in Wales at All Saints Anglican Church

Planning price tag revealed for futuristic ‘We Town’ concept in Abbotsford

Developer says highrises would house 30,000, but Abbotsford mayor says project is in wrong place

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Surrey councillor wants the policing transition process to ‘immediately stop’

Brenda Locke to make motion at Dec. 16 meeting to reconsider current plan

Man pleads guilty to second-degree murder in 2017 Stanley Park stabbing

Lubomir Kunik was found by a man out walking his dog on the beach late on Feb. 1, 2017

Vancouver homeless camp brings community, safety, home, says resident

Encampment in the city’s Downtown Eastside is one of many that have sprung up in B.C.

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Most Read