Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Unforgettable dining experience: Bears spotted swimming at Shawnigan

Linda Lee Matthews called the moment a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Linda Lee Matthews was sitting at The Lakehouse at Shawnigan Lake on Wednesday afternoon when she heard someone shout: "Look in the water!" 

She looked over and saw the heads of two animals swimming. 

"I thought, ‘Wow, those are big dogs,’ ” Matthews said. 

In fact, she was staring at two bears swimming together. 

Once Matthews realized what she was witnessing, she took out her cellphone to record a video. 

“I was flabbergasted,” she said. “I never thought I would ever see anything like it. It was crazy.” 

Everyone else in the restaurant started shouting and took out their phones to try and capture the scene. 

“It was really something to see,” Matthews said. “It’s a video I will keep forever.” 

She said the bears swam quickly, taking about five minutes to cross the lake. “They really slowed down at the end but they made it. I’ve never seen a bear swimming in the lake before.” 

Matthews called the moment a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

“I’m so happy I got to see it,” she said. 

Should anyone come across the bears again, the Conservation Officer Service asks the public to give them plenty of space and a way to exit. 

If there is any human-wildlife conflict, people are asked to contact the RAPP line at: 1-877-952-7277.