Dog killing black bear reported in Kitimat

A woman's dog is likely dead after they were chased by a black bear in the Cablecar subdivision.

Judy McHale is warning the public about a problem bear after her dog was killed yesterday.

McHale and a friend were horseback riding in the Cablecar area with her eight-year-old lab, when they encountered a black bear — not entirely unusual, she said.

What was unusual was that the bear began to follow them.

“They usually don’t pay any attention to us,” she said. “This time he started following.”

McHale and her friend trotted away faster on their horses and the dog followed behind. When she looked back the bear was even closer so they took off quickly and the bear pursued.

“He chased us for 2-to-300 yards down that trail at a full gallop.”

She heard a yelp and a scream and that was the last she heard anything from her dog.

She said the bear appeared to be in good health.

“It looked like a very big, very healthy blue black bear. He was so healthy his coat shone blue,” she said. “It was also one of the biggest black bears I’ve ever seen, especially in this area.”

McHale is a hunter so is quite familiar with bears.

She said the Conservation Office sent an officer right away yesterday and a trap was set.

McHale’s husband went looking for the dog this morning but no remains were found.

“I asked them to let me know whether they trap the bear or not. I can’t go in the area until the bear is out of there.”

The Conservation Officer Service was sought for comment however no one could be immediately reached on Thursday afternoon.