Plum tree blamed for attracting animal to West Van

A bear wandered into a West Vancouver garden, trapping four children in their tree house while their dog stood guard below.

West Vancouver Police said yesterday they are thankful for the assistance of the family dog, which came to the children’s rescue Monday afternoon and “took up a defensive position at the base of the tree.”

The children, between the ages of two and six years old, screamed for a parent who banged pots and pans and scared the bear away, police said.


The family has asked not to be identified.

The heroic dog may have done more harm than good, said Barbara Murray, an expert with Bear Matters B.C.

“Having a dog out when there is a bear is not good — they can corner the bear or do something that might threaten the bear, and the bear might then retaliate,” Murray said. “They can break a dog’s neck pretty quickly.”

The real issue was the plum tree in the yard that attracted the bear.

“The bear really didn’t care if there were kids in the tree fort or not … it was really focused on the plums,” she said.

indoor ripening

  • Bear expert Barbara Murray recommends that people pick their plums and berries early and let them ripen inside.

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