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Video: Bear robs Coquitlam golfer's brand new bag right off the cart

The 13th hole at Coquitlam's Westwood Plateau proved to be unlucky for local resident Jerome Gignac, who had to watch a black bear rip his new golf bag to shreds.

Jerome Gignac has been advised that he should to write the sequel to Cocaine Bear — and call it "Coquitlam Bear" — after a recent unfortunate encounter.

A black bear made off scot-free with his brand new golf bag while he was playing Westwood Plateau Golf and Country Club on Monday evening (July 31).

"Why not, golf can be pretty addictive, too," he told the Tri-City News.

Gignac said he and his friend Jim Gordon were told by staff before their 4 p.m. tee time that a mother and cub had been roaming around the 13th hole at the Coquitlam course.

When they got to the Par 4 350-yarder, the bears were seen in a ravine near the tee box and the mother decided to join the group.

"She started sniffing our carts, but we had no food with us. Then she started to rip through one of the bags on the other cart," Gignac said, and that's when the 13th turned unlucky for the local resident.

"I tried to scare her off by shouting and waving my golf club. She then went to my cart, ripped the bag off and dragged it down the ravine."

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In the above video shared with the Tri-City News, the bear had already done damage to Gignac's golf bag before ripping it right off the cart.

The clubs fall out of the bag as the bear drags it toward the ravine, sending Gignac into a state of disbelief to what just unfolded.

The bear then disappears into the bushes as the golfers try to scare it off with loud voices.

"I was pretty upset because I had just bought that bag at the beginning of the summer," Gignac added, noting that he didn't have any valuables in the bag.

"Luckily, all my clubs were dumped out before she dragged the bag away....Jim had his phone, wallet, and car keys in his, which she completely ignored, so that would have been a disaster."

Gignac said he's used to seeing bears at Westwood Plateau, being a resident of the neighbourhood as well.

He said a bear had also walked across a green on the course while he and his friend were in the middle of putting.

Bear encounter update

As of 10 a.m. today (Aug. 3), there have been 123 known bear sightings or encounters in Coquitlam in 2023 to date, including 58 in July with four from the Westwood Plateau area.

This is according to WildSafeBC's Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP), which notes more than 250 bear encounters have been reported across the Tri-Cities this year.

The organization is encouraging residents to consider the following tips around bears:

  • Keep your garbage in or secured until the day of collection. Garbage is the number one attractant cited in reports to the provincial hotline
  • Manage your fruit trees
    • Don’t let windfalls accumulate, and pick fruit as it ripens
    • If you don’t want the fruit, consider...
      • Accessing a fruit gleaning group in your community
      • Washing the blossoms off in the spring so the fruit doesn’t set
      • Replacing the tree with a non-fruit bearing variety
  • Don’t put out bird feeders when bears are active
    • A kilo of bird seed has approximately 8,000 calories and is a great reward for a hungry bear
  • Keep your compost working properly with lots of brown materials and a regular schedule of turning
  • If you have livestock or backyard chickens use a properly installed and maintained electric fence to keep bears and livestock apart

The public is also being reminded to check all of your surroundings when out in the backcountry as bears are known to hang out in trees.

WildSafeBC recorded 58 known bear sightings and encounters across Coquitlam in July 2023. By WildSafeBC