Man in Underwear Scares Grizzly Bear Away After Pregnant Goat Goes Missing

A man in the Canadian province of British Columbia managed to scare a grizzly bear off his vineyard and farm on Quadra Island, just off the east coast of Vancouver Island. The animal was spotted on the property hours after one of the man's pregnant goats went missing.

Ben McGuffie told Canada's CHEK News: "When I realized I was standing there in my bare feet and my underwear with a bear 10 meters [around 33 feet] away, I questioned my sanity for a bit."

McGuffie and his wife were first alerted to the bear after hearing a commotion in their goat pen at around 10 p.m. local time on Monday and "jumped out of bed to investigate," he told CHEK News.

"My wife was right behind me. We went outside and the bear was chasing the goats through their pen and through their house. We started yelling at it and it came to a full stop about ten metres away from us."

The bear reportedly looked at the couple, who kept yelling at the animal, but did not move before McGuffie threw a rock at it.

"It stared at us despite us yelling and then I picked up a rock and threw it at it and it ran away," McGuffie told CHEK News.

McGuffie believes the bear may have been at the vineyard that morning when one of his pregnant goats went missing. He said the goat was seen at around 8:30 a.m. local time but was nowhere to be found by 9:00 a.m. local time.

As it's not unusual for goats to look for a more secluded area to give birth, the family conducted a day-long search for the missing goat. They scoured the woods nearby but the goat was not found, CHEK News reported.

Officers from the British Columbia Conservation Officer Service (COS) brought a bear trap to the vineyard on Tuesday but a decision has yet to be made on what to do with the grizzly bear.

The latest incident was reported to be the first time a grizzly bear was seen this far south where the vineyard and farm are located at the south end on Sutil Road.

Over the last three to four weeks, the bear was reported to have been spotted mainly on the north part of the island, where there aren't many residents. But its recent whereabouts in the south in the past two days have raised concerns for the community.

Sgt. Mike Newton from the COS told CHEK News: "When the bear switches from natural food to non-natural food, domestic animals, livestock in close proximity of homes, yes absolutely it's escalated and has posed a more serious safety risk."

Local resident Tak Ogasawara, who went for a walk with a can of bear spray for the first time on Tuesday, told CHEK News: "It's scary because you never know, it's the first time a grizzly bear has been seen around here."

Residents have been asked to secure all attractants in and around their homes and to secure all livestock and keep their animals nearby and locked up. Anyone who spots the bear is urged to contact RAPP (Report All Poachers and Polluters) at 1-877-952-7277.

The COS warns "do not feed bears" if you come across them. "It's against the law to feed dangerous wildlife."

Those who encounter a bear are advised to: "Remain calm. Do not run or climb a tree. Slowly back away, talking to the bear in a quiet, monotone voice. Do not scream, turn your back on the bear, kneel down or make direct eye contact.

"Keep away from the bear. Do not try to get closer to it. If the bear gets too close, use pepper spray (within 7 metres [around 23 feet]) or something else to threaten or distract it," COS says.

See the COS website for more information and advice on bear encounters in British Columbia.

A grizzly bear in Alberta, Canada.
An adult grizzly bear walking through a campground and picnic area in Lake Louise in the western Canadian province of Alberta in June 2013. A man in British Columbia, Canada, scared a grizzly bear off his farm after one of his pregnant goats went missing on Monday. George Rose/Getty Images