Up-close bear encounter at Lower Mainland golf course

Golf course bear encounter

A bear roaming the fairways of the Vancouver Golf Club shut down the Coquitlam facility after it came in close contact with a party of golfers Tuesday afternoon.

A video of the encounter shows a young black bear wandering along a golf cart path, sniffing out a garbage bin. 

From a golf cart a short distance away, a group of golfers yells to try and ward off the bear But when it turns and lumbers toward them, the golfers jumped in their cart to escape. The video ends with the golfers speeding off in their cart.

“Our policy is to let wildlife be wild… to leave them alone,” said golf club general manager Richard Creally, noting that the 176-acre course of mostly naturalized space is no stranger to coyotes, bobcats or the occasional bear.

But because of that interaction, Creally said staff shut the course for the rest of the day as a precaution. 

The BC Conservation Officer Service later arrived on scene, though Creally said they were not called by the club’s staff.

The encounter comes during a busy time for the golf club, according to Creally. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the club was shut for six weeks. But now, with many members avoiding travel and cutting back on work, they have taken their social bubbles to the links. 

“It’s the busiest season ever. It’s record setting,” said Creally. “When you have Dr. Bonnie Henry telling people to go outside and get some fresh air but remain in your family unit — well that’s a foursome.”

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