Man continuing search for dog after bear attack in Kananaskis

A Calgary man whose dog has been missing since she escaped a bear attack on Saturday remains hopeful the animal will turn up.

Chris Switzer was out for a hike west of Longview with the six-year-old pitbull when he says a bear appeared, got on top of the dog and and hauled her into the trees. 

Equipped with bear spray, he instinctively went to rescue Diamond. But before he could get to her, the dog came running back out of the trees, “jumped into the river and she never came back up.”

“It happened really fast,” Switzer said. “As soon as I started to cross the river to go after them, that’s when she jumped out and then she was running towards me and jumped into the river.”

Switzer said he thinks it was a black bear involved.

After the incident, which took place early in the afternoon, Switzer said he spent hours searching for Diamond. Because there was no cell phone reception, he left to let family members know what had happened, and returned with help to continue searching until the evening. He also returned the next day, and plans to go back next weekend after returning from work out of town.

“I had to come back to work on Monday, otherwise I would still be out there,” he said. 

He shared his experience in a Facebook post, which has since been re-posted more than 200 times. Switzer said he even received a message from someone who heard of the ordeal and was planning to head to the area to look for the dog. 

Switzer described Diamond as his “adventure buddy” who has accompanied him on frequent hikes.

“I’m just really hoping that when she went under that she came up maybe and then just struggled for a few kilometres to get ashore and she’s still out there somewhere,” he said. 

Diamond was last see about 2 km west of the Highwood group use area. 

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