Family rescued by RCMP officers after fleeing bear near Victoria

The officers ensured the bear had left the area before taking a photo with the family and escorting them back to their vehicle, police said. (RCMP)

Mounties on Vancouver Island are reminding hikers to be prepared for wildlife encounters after a family became lost while fleeing a black bear.

The incident happened Saturday, when members of the West Shore RCMP’s bike unit happened to be conducting search and rescue training in Gowlland Tod Provincial Park.

The officers came upon a family of four, including two small children, who were in distress after a bear encounter prompted them to flee and become lost in the park.

The officers ensured the bear had left the area before taking a photo with the family and escorting them back to their vehicle, police said.

Mounties are reminding hikers to:

  • always tell someone where you are going and which route you are planning to take;
  • take a map with you or snap a photo of the trail system to keep on your phone;
  • pack a power bank in your backpack for your cellular phone if going on a long hike;
  • pack first aid supplies and water
  • secure all food and attractants to remove temptation to wildlife;
  • check the weather before you leave;
  • carry a whistle, should you need assistance it carries much farther than your voice;
  • if you are in bear country, watch for scat and digs. If you see any, turn around and find a new path;
  • be loud to let bears know you are around, they will avoid you if they are able to;
  • keep small children close, if they run it could trigger the bear to attack;
  • if you do see a bear, make calm loud noise, and back away slowly, leaving the area.