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Bear visits Indian Spice Cuisine: Squamish restaurant's wild surprise

Squamish restaurant owner captures rare bear encounter on video.
A bear walks the Indian Spice Cuisine patio in Downtown Squamish.

While the folks at Squamish’s Indian Spice Cuisine on Cleveland Avenue welcome all customers, this one was a little big and furry. 

On Sept. 19, a black bear walked along the railing of the restaurant’s outside patio before sauntering off, without eating or even leaving a tip. 

Sam Bir, the restaurant's owner, told The Squamish Chief that she was at home looking at the security cameras at the restaurant when she saw something black in the back parking lot.

"There was a big, black something. I was like, 'Oh my God, there's a big dog in the parking lot,'" she recalled. "But then I was like, 'Hang on. It is so big! It is a bear." 

She called one of the servers at the restaurant and said to go film the bear. 

By then the bear was on the patio walking the fence. (See video at the bottom of this story.)

As no customers were sitting outside, there was nothing to catch the bear’s attention so it just carried on its way.

"That was amazing," Bir said.

She said that last year, the bear used to walk by the restaurant from time to time, but never did anything like this before. 

Be bear aware

Always keep a safe distance from bears and ensure there are no food attractants available. 

The District of Squamish notes that black bears typically hibernate starting in mid-November.

“They hibernate because their natural food sources are no longer available, not because it’s cold. If there is food available, bears will not hibernate. It’s essential to keep all non-natural food secure … So keep those garbage and organic totes locked twelve months of the year,” reads the District’s website.

If you encounter a bear:

  • Stop, stay calm and assess the situation
  • Don’t run
  • Never turn your back on wildlife
  • Back away slowly and give the bear space
  • Talk calmly
  • Avoid eye contact
  • Ready your deterrent

Report any human-wildlife conflict to the Conservation Officers Service through the RAPP line. 

Call 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) or #7277 on the Telus Mobility Network. If the situation is not an emergency, report the incident online or contact the nearest Conservation Officer Service district office.

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