Two mothers and their children came across a young black bear Tuesday during a leisurely morning walk along on the west side of Langford Lake.
Kirsten Marten spotted the bear when her son Saul, who is almost four years old, walked within 10 feet of the cub. The bear was standing on its hind legs leaning against a tree. Marten estimates the bear stood about five or six feet tall.
“(My son) didn’t see the bear, but I yelled ‘stop’ and he turned around and ran to me,” Marten said who admitted she was terrified.
“I wasn’t scared of the bear because it was just standing there, I was scared because my son was running towards the bear. It was that moment of not knowing what the bear would do. There is no way I could have gotten him before the bear did.”
Marten spotted the bear at about 11:30 a.m. in a forested area past the Langford Lake boardwalk and public beach area off Leigh Road. It was within three feet of the trail.
She and her friend were both pushing strollers with children. Once Saul returned to his mother, the group turned around and walked away from the bear. Marten said cub didn’t approach them or act aggressively.
They also saw a man and his dogs walk past the bear and didn’t notice it.
Once they were a safe distance way, Marten explained to her son that they had close to a bear. Saul has been asking why the baby bear was alone and away from its mother, she said.
Marten said she usually allows her son to run ahead about 15 feet during their walks to the lake, but after the bear encounter she says she’ll keep him closer. They’ve walk the trail near the lake three times per week for the past two years. It’s the first time they’ve seen a bear.
“I was kind of in disbelief and a bit of panic. I am still in disbelief,” Marten said. “People should keep their kids and dogs close by.”