Ben McGuffie lost one goat to the bear, but was able to protect the other two by throwing a rock at the grizzly. Photo courtesy Ben McGuffie

Ben McGuffie lost one goat to the bear, but was able to protect the other two by throwing a rock at the grizzly. Photo courtesy Ben McGuffie

B.C. winery operator throws rock to protect his goats from menacing grizzly

The big bears are rare for Quadra Island, especially in the populated areas

A Quadra Island farmer first noticed something was up when one of his goats was missing on Monday morning.

Ben McGuffie operates the SouthEnd Farm Winery on the island, located off of Campbell River. His Monday started like any other. But after 9 a.m., when he noticed one of his goats was not in the pen where it should have been, his day took a turn.

“We spent most of the day looking through the woods, myself, my wife, my children, all sorts of neighbours and their children, all walking through the woods and trying to find the missing goat,” McGuffie said. “We gave up towards the end of the day and hope that she had just kind of wandered off and would come back, which would have been highly unusual.”

It wasn’t until nightfall when he found out what had happened.

“Around 9:50 p.m. or so we noticed our two other goats were acting strangely. They took off from where they usually stand, so I got out of bed and stuck my head out the door to see what was going on. I noticed one of the goats was running very fast through the pen and something large and brown was behind it,” he said.

“I jumped out, my wife Jill was right behind me. We grabbed whatever was at hand and went out and yelled at it. One of the goats came through the pen and came past us on the far side of the fence. The bear followed it along. It did stop when we yelled at it, it didn’t run away. It wasn’t until I actually threw a rock at it and hit it that it ran off.”

RELATED: Camper finds decapitated bear carcass west of Campbell River

The grizzly bear has been spotted on the island for around a month now, but this is the first time it has threatened or attacked any livestock or people on the island. Quadra Island hasn’t traditionally been grizzly bear territory but is in the vicinity of North Island bear sightings that are becoming more frequent in recent years.

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service said they are aware of the bear, and that the bear has travelled to the more populated areas of the island. They were at the winery on Tuesday, McGuffie said, where they set up a live trap and some game cameras, hoping to catch the animal.

“They came over first thing in the morning, had a look around and tried to find the missing goat, thinking it would lead them to the bear,” McGuffie said. “Now we just have to wait for the bear to reappear. We haven’t seen it, haven’t seen any posts on social media from people who have. It’s quite possibly sitting on the remains of our goat, finishing that off, sadly.”

The Conservation Officer Service is consulting with provincial wildlife biologists to determine the proper course of action once and if the bear is caught. In the meantime, they are asking the public to ensure their property is free of attractants and livestock is kept under lock and key.

“People should also ensure they do not walk their pets off-leash and they always take the appropriate precautions when walking on trails,” they added.

McGuffie, who has lived on the property since the 1970s, said this is the first time he has seen a bear near his home.

“We may get one black bear every year or two down on this end, but they typically stick close to the shore and wouldn’t come up even this far.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

RELATED: Stay away from grizzly bear on North Island, conservation officer warns



marc.kitteringham@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

bearsConservationLocal NewsQuadra Island

Just Posted

Staff member Lena Laitinen gives the wall at BoulderHouse a workout during a media tour on June 16. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
BoulderHouse raring to rock Langford

Popularity of bouldering continues to climb across Greater Victoria

The Sooke Potholes is a jewel in the community's crown. Transition Sooke hosts a town hall meeting on community growth on June 26. (Courtesy: Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke forum tackles community growth

To Grow or Not to Grow online town hall meeting set for June 26

General manager Lindsey Pomper says Sidney’s Star Cinema cannot wait welcome audiences when it reopens June 18, amid an easing of public health measures. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney’s Star Cinema raises curtain for the first time after months in the darkness

Iconic theatre to reopen at half capacity for Friday night showing

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.’s Indigenous language, art and culture

North Saanich advisor says initiative supports urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

A dogs in parks pilot study unanimously approved by Saanich council will evaluate how park space can best be shared between dog owners and non-owners alike. (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Saanich to study park-sharing strategy between those with and without pets

District-wide People, Parks and Dogs study to produce recommendations by fall

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Most Read