Jennifer O’Driscoll-Begley stood outside her 2001 Honda CRV on Sunday morning staring at a large pawprint on the window.
The back hatch window was open, a bunch of long coarse black hair was stuck to the trunk and the leather seats were torn up in places. The moment she opened the vehicle door, a stench unlike any other poured out.
“It was a pungent smell of musk,” said the Metchosin woman. “There was a big muddy mess of pawprints. I knew it had to be a bear. They are being a lot more brazen these days. I’m guessing it was a way to rest up overnight or find some food before they start hibernating.”
O’Driscoll-Begley said her car was locked and there weren’t any scraps of food or drinks inside. In fact, she vacuumed and washed her car just a couple days before.
She joked on social media that there might’ve been a lingering fast food aroma. This is the first time O’Driscoll-Begley has seen or heard of something like this in the 10 years she’s lived in Metchosin.
She hasn’t reported the incident to the B.C. Conservation Service.
“If living among wildlife bothers you, maybe living in a forest isn’t for you,” she said. “We’re in their habitat and we just have to be more cautious. Hopefully they go into hibernation soon.”
B.C. Conservation Sgt. Scott Norris previously told Black Press Media that bears are not afraid of people or pets, particularly bears that have been habituated. Garbage needs to be locked up, food should not be left out and attractants need to be managed accordingly.
“People need to realize they live in bear territory,” Norris said. “There’s a law to follow which exists to protect bears, the public and pets.”
For now, O’Driscoll-Begley plans to start strategically parking her car by backing up the hatch window near her porch railing to avoid the same thing from happening again.
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