'Aggressive' black bear attacks 2 people near Simon Fraser University

Police and conservation officers are trying to find an aggressive black bear on Burnaby Mountain after it attacked two people Monday afternoon.

A medium-sized adult black bear approached two people picnicking at a park near Simon Fraser University at about 1 p.m. PT., said the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.

The bear started to rummage through their backpacks. When the pair tried to scare off the bear, it charged them and swatted the woman's calf, leaving her with minor injuries.

The bear then left the area.

"It's unusual bear behaviour," conservation officer Murray Smith told CBC News.

"These are indications of a bear that has lost its fear of people. It's human habituated. And it's food conditioned because it went into the backpack."

The attack happened at a recreation site near SFU:

'Needle in a haystack'

On Monday afternoon, six conservation officers were on scene, along with Burnaby RCMP.

Police say to expect a police presence in the area of Trans Canada Trail, Ridgeview, Burnwood and Gnome's Home Trail.

Recreational trails in the area were closed as of Monday evening.

Anyone who spots a black bear in the area is asked to call police right away.

Smith said searching for the bear is "like looking for a needle in a haystack."

"Sometimes, it involves just having to wait and seeing if the bear returns."

Once found, the bear can not be safely relocated and will be euthanized, Smith said. He warned residents in nearby neighbourhoods to secure their garbage.