North Vancouver Camper Comes Face-To-Face With Bear Poking At His Tent

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Talk about a wake-up call.

David James Weale was solo camping near Capilano River in North Vancouver last weekend when he woke up, stepped out for some fresh air, then went back to his tent to meditate.

Then he heard footsteps outside the tent, and sat up to see a black bear about six metres away.

"I was incredibly relaxed until he showed up. He jumped and I jumped a little bit," Weale told The Huffington Post Canada. "Then he came over."

The bear started sniffing around, poking at the camper's tent. But Weale, who had started taking a video, didn't panic.

"He wasn't overly aggressive or making any signs of aggression. He just seemed curious to see who I was," he said.

At one point, the bear snapped a tent pole and ripped a bit of mesh. That's when Weale decided to get out of there.

black bear
File photo of a black bear in Vancouver, B.C. (Photo: Getty Images)

The bear was standing between the camper and his car, so Weale distracted the animal with a leftover smoothie that he had in his tent from the day before.

The plan worked, and the camper walked away.

"Once I was in the car, my heart just started racing. Shock and adrenaline just came rushing through my system."

Weale said he hopes his close encounter can serve as a reminder to others to camp smart, no matter where you go.

"[The site] is quite close to a bunch of houses, and I'd gone camping there so many times before that I didn't even think about bears," he said. "I don't know if it's the smoothies that attracted the bear, but maybe my possible mistake can help someone else."

In B.C., it is an offence under the Wildlife Act to feed dangerous animals, including bears. Provincial conservation officers often remind campers to not leave food in their tents, and to lock supplies in a car or tie them up a tree instead.

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