Bear! Attack!

Bear! Attack!

’Bear between houses
’Bear between houses

After all the recent newspaper articles about bear attacks in British Columbia [2011], I thought it fitting to air this article. This happened on Addenbroke Island lighthouse April 2006 and below is the story as told to me by the lighthouse keeper in his own words:


– from Dennis Rose (present Principal Keeper on Addenbroke Island

This was the first bear I have ever run into that didn’t know what a gun was. He did start to come up the steps to the house one time and that’s when I started trying to chase him off. I tried to scare him off with a few rounds from my shotgun but that just made him curious.


I was busy building crates and getting ready to move and couldn’t stay indoors like Coast Guard wanted me to do. He would come over every time I would start up a Skill saw or a drill.

Coast Guard had given me some pepper spray last year and I tried it on him. Never having used the stuff before I didn’t think about the wind direction so I pepper-sprayed me and my dog. The bear just stood there about 10 or 12 feet away (3 – 4 metres). I didn’t hear him giggling but I bet he was.


He hung around for 10 days and I had just decided to put him down when Fish and Wildlife (F&W) decided to move him. They showed up the day he left. They never saw him. I guess all the rounds I fired out of the shotgun finally scared him off. At one point he quit moving when I fired the gun so I loaded up a round of rock salt and salted his ass. After that he respected us a bit more.


Yup, he was a grizzly. The biologist looked at the photos and confidently claimed he’s a two year old weighing about 400 lbs. Notice though he has a fat round face. That is one of the earmarks of a mature male grizzly and it doesn’t developed until they are around four or five.


We’ve had a grizzly and a couple blacks [black bears] here every year since we moved here but they have never hung around the houses before. This fellow just wanted to eat the lawn grass.


Well, he also chewed on the brand new station outboard and every garbage can I have on the station (I use them for rain barrels). He ripped up the bio-cell, flipped my packing crates and . . . lets just say he was a big fuzzy nuisance.


F&W wanted to move him into another location where there are lots of females but no males. (Hey I live in a house like that, it’s no picnic Yogi!) [Dennis has a wife and three daughters – JC.]


He never even attempted to open the composters nor dig up the fish heads I buried in the garden last fall. He didn’t try to chase the dogs and apart from his interest in power tools he was willing to leave us be. Oh well, moves over, bear’s gone. Now I can start getting ready for fishing season.

 – thanks to Dennis Rose for all the photos.


Here’s another bear wandering around a lighthouse – Cape Scott this time.


. . . attacks chainsaw!


At least Dennis can be thankful that the bear did not attack his chainsaw like this beast did!

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Retired (2001) British Columbia lighthouse keeper after 32 years on the lights.

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