WINNIPEG — A Manitoba woman is resting at home after she fought a mother bear with her cubs in her front yard.
Diane Fillion said it all happened in an instant. On Saturday afternoon, she was playing with her dog in the front yard of her Lac du Bonnet home when they came face to face with a bear and her three cubs.
“We’ve got myself and my dog and three bears all looking at each other,” she told CTV News. “The dog put one of the cubs in the tree, and then the mom came after my dog, and the fight started.”
Fillion said she backed out of her yard while making noise and trying to look big, but when her dog ran away, the bear came charging towards them.
Video from her security camera shows the bear running at Fillion who was wielding a stick at the time.
“I thought I had tripped, and then we pulled our security cameras and then we realized no, the bear actually hit me.”
Fillion said after the bear knocked her down, it climbed into a tree with the cubs.
Manitoba Conservation came to assess the situation and determined the best course of action would be to wait until the bears left – which they eventually did.
Pauline Bloom, a wildlife biologist for the province, said Manitoba has seen an increase in reports of bear sightings in cottage country and towns near heavily forested areas.
She said the lack of rain in the province this summer is part of the issue.
“There’s a lot less water on the landscape for bears to access,” she said. “So they’re out on the land looking for permanent sources of water, and they’re also looking for food.”
Bloom said the drought has also impacted wild berry crops, which bears would normally feed on.
Fillion managed to escape her bear encounter with minor bumps and bruises, but she said it could have been a lot worse.
“We don’t believe that she was trying to be mean,” Fillion said. “She was just like, ‘Get away from my babies,’ and she made her point, and we said, ‘OK.’”
Bloom said keeping your yard clean, storing garbage bins in your garage or shed, and removing your bird feeder in the summer months will reduce the chances of coming into contact with a bear.
She said if you have a clean space, bears may come through but they won’t stick around.
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