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

Opinion: Thank you, together we can get through

Thanks for staying at home as much as possible, thinking of others as we combat this terrible virus

West Kelowna man charged in relation to cannabis grow robbery in Sicamous

Two suspects remain at large; police believe they left the robbery scene in a white hatchback

COVID-19: Town of Oliver gives residents tax breaks, 50 per cent off first quarter utility fees

Mayor encourages residents to invest money back into the community if possible

Cougar caught on camera in Lake Country

A Lake Country resident caught a cougar prowling near their home

Dry March causes modest increases to Okanagan snowpack

The Okanagan region increased from 115 per cent of normal snowpack to 116 per cent

Summerland parks remain open for passive use

Users urged to maintain physical distancing to slow spread of COVID-19

Okanagan Indian Band asks visitors to ‘stay away’ during COVID-19

Chief and council asks non-residents not to visit OKIB reserve lands during the pandemic

Would-be visitors to Shuswap over the long weekend asked to stay home

Regional district follows provincial health officer’s lead in telling citizens to stay put this Easter

Shuswap’s Salty Dog Enduro mountain bike race postponed to 2021

Organizers follow direction from provincial/national bodies to cancel May event

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

Central Okanagan School District provides nearly 7,000 meals to students

Families collect the entire week’s supply of breakfasts and lunches at once to minimize contact

Kelowna cannabis company moves to hand sanitizer production

The Valens Company plans to distribute 40,000 sanitizer bottles to frontline workers across Canada

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

Most Read