Okanagan man meets bear while visiting mom’s tombstone on Mother’s Day

Amateur photographer captures brown bear strolling among the graves on Mother’s Day

Going to visit his mom, Eleanor, in the Vernon Cemetery, Rory White got more than he bargained for Sunday.

Since Eleanor’s passing in 2001, White takes lilacs to her every year on Mother’s Day, as she loved that particular flower. On Sunday, at about 3:20 p.m., White turned onto the cemetery’s Legion Way and parked about halfway down the roadway, as that’s where Eleanor is buried.

He thought he saw a dog moving among the headstones but, in fact, what White saw was something a little bigger than a dog but also with four legs and fur: a bear.

“The bear was a brown bear that appeared to be shedding his winter coat so was quite light in colour,” said White, a school bus driver and photography buff. “It was moving slowly along, though, just minding its own business, checking out the flowers. There was a lady sort of behind where I was at the beginning of Legion Way and she was oblivious to the bear.

READ ALSO: Black bear dines at Summerland rabbit hutch

“I got out of my car and had my camera so started taking pictures and indicated to the lady I had passed that the bear was there. She was immediately concerned, and, thus, I offered for her to get in my car and I would take her to her vehicle which was up ahead of mine.”

READ ALSO: Black bear helps himself to some dinner in Peachland woman’s garden

After watching the bear for a short period of time, and seeing it was not being aggressive in any way, White and the woman waited until the bear passed them heading north into the old part of the cemetery, and the woman went to her car. A couple of other cars, said White, stopped on the main road of the cemetery to take pictures but nobody got out of their vehicles.

“I would say no one was in danger and it was just a pleasant and kind of rare encounter,” said White. “The bear clearly wanted to get further into the woods as it was drawing more attention, so it just kept moving along, hurrying up a bit toward the end of that. It lasted all of about five-to-eight minutes.”



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

 

Just Posted

Haida Gwaii libraries launch new ‘takeout’ curbside pickup service

As of June 5, cardholders can once again access physical copies of books, DVDs and more

Blacktail Haida Gwaii working to reopen with new covered patio

Chef-owner Edi Szasz hopes to reopen on June 25, the one-year anniversary of the restaurant

Skidegate daycare staff recognized for creative care during COVID-19

Staff have been using social media to share isolation activities, read stories and sing songs

Village of Queen Charlotte approves business facade improvement grants

Applications from Gather, dental clinic, A Level Up approved, leaving about $14,000 up for grabs

Recycling services in Queen Charlotte, Port Clements expanding next week

Residential plastics will be accepted again, but most residential transfer stations remain closed

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read