VIDEO: Chilliwack man spots black bear, two cubs near Seabird Island

Saw elusive bears twice in a 15-minute span

Simar Kharbanda had never seen anything like it.

The Chilliwack resident was driving along Chaplain Road near Seabird Island when he spotted something in the water – a sow black bear and her two cubs, swimming to land.

“I tried to take pictures, but they disappeared in the bushes,” Kharbanda said. He continued driving, and on his way back, he spotted the mama bear a second time, crossing the road and running into a nearby field, alone.

RELATED: Be bear aware: Seven black bear sightings call in so far in one week

“She ran about 50 metres and stopped and stood on her legs to look for her cubs,” he said. “Seconds later, I saw both cubs cross the road and follow the mom.”

At that point, Kharbanda climbed to his sunroof and started recording video.

“This is the first time I’ve encountered something like this,” Kharbanda said. “I am from India and came to Canada six years ago. I always heard stories about bears but never encountered one so close. It was so cool. I had goosebumps!”

From July 1 to July 29, according to the Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP), there were five wildlife reports this month – three black bears, a grizzly bear and a bobcat. A black bear encounter on July 19 was listed as aggressive. One black bear call was classified as “dead wildlife” while the lone bobcat encounter was “injured/distressed.”

RELATED: WARP: Area wildlife sightings in May included two alleged grizzly sightings

Black bears are much more common in the Agassiz-Harrison area than grizzly bears (though grizzly spotting isn’t unheard of). It’s estimated the population across the province numbers between 120,000 and 150,000 black bears. They typically account for between 14,000 and 25,000 wildlife calls per year and they are most active April through November.

Black bears are omnivorous and eat roughly 80 per cent vegetation, according to WildSafeBC. They may gravitate toward human habitats if food is readily available. Taking preventative measures such as securing garbage, keeping bird seed in a spot that is difficult for them to reach and keeping grills clean and free of drippings would help prevent human-wildlife conflicts.

WildSafe in the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) received approximately 1,100 wildlife calls from January to November. Of these calls, more than 830 were related to black bears.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

AgassizHarrison Hot SpringsWildlife

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Oct. 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of possibly decades-old airplane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

Mark Strahl is speaking in the House of Commons on Oct. 20, 2020, on a Conservative motion to create a special committee to look into the WE charity scandal. The speech will be posted live on his Facebook page. (Facebook image)
VIDEO: Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl to speak on WE scandal today

Prime Minister has said Conservative motion for ethics committee could trigger election

Plow equipment clearing the roads on Dec. 13, 2016 focused on Priority 1 and 2 roads. (City of Chilliwack)
Dozens of Chilliwack roads could get upgraded for snow removal

But side streets mostly remain as priority 4, rarely if ever plowed based on resources available

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Rosedale man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after purchasing electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

Officers with the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team were at a White Rock home Tuesday (Oct. 20) to assist Vancouver Police Department with execution of a search warrant. (Contributed photo)
ERT, VPD response to White Rock home connected to homicide: police

Search underway in the 15800-block of Prospect Crescent

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

Most Read