Bear pays respects at Okanagan cemetery

Amateur photographer captures brown bear strolling among Vernon 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

Salmon Arm mayor supports parking solution for hungry truckers

Alternative to Highway 1 suggested for drivers wanting access to McDonald’s

Column: Keeping distance, working together and readying for rebound

Council Report by Salmon Arm Mayor Alan Harrison

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

Shuswap food bank gives away three months of food in one week

High demand in face of COVID-19, Eagle Valley Community Support Society appeals for donations

Second Vernon-area high school exposed to COVID-19

Kalamalka Secondary School staff, students urged to self-isolate if showing symptoms

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

Okanagan woman baking for those in need amid COVID-19

Vernon’s Crystal Hedlund launched a GoFundMe page to generate funds for baking materials

Okanagan distillery hands out thousands of sanitizer bottles, needs help in COVID-19 fight

Okanagan Springs is donating hand sanitizer to help fill COVID-induced shortages

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

Most Read