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Black bear spotted at Esquimalt Lagoon

Colwood resident Dunc Malcolm took pictures of the animal, who was nibbling on some barnacles

Colwood resident Dunc Malcolm was just about to walk his dog near Esquimalt Lagoon on Wednesday at 7 p.m. when someone mentioned that a black bear had been spotted on the waterline.

“I backed away and went across the bridge, and lo and behold, there he was,” said Malcolm, adding it’s the first time he’s seen a bear in an urban area.

Malcolm, who has lived in Greater Victoria for 40 years, said he always brings a camera when he goes dog walking, so he was able to take a few photographs of the animal.

“One never knows what one is going to come up against,” he said.

The bear looked unbothered and was nibbling on some barnacles, he said.

In recent days, sightings of black bears in Colwood have surfaced on social media and in media reports. Malcolm suspects the bear he saw Wednesday was the same one seen ambling around local streets on Tuesday.

He said increased ­development around the West Shore has disturbed the natural habitat of cougars and bears, bringing them closer to ­residential areas.

“The fact that they’re here is not surprising. The berries at Royal Roads [University’s] forest are ripe,” he said. “That’s an attraction for them, young animals looking for their own territory.”

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