Environment officers euthanize injured bear in Yellowknife, 'extra caution' still advised

·2 min read
A black bear near Gameti, N.W.T., in July of 2019. Wildlife officers in Yellowknife have been warning about bears roaming the city. (Walter Strong/CBC - image credit)
A black bear near Gameti, N.W.T., in July of 2019. Wildlife officers in Yellowknife have been warning about bears roaming the city. (Walter Strong/CBC - image credit)

An injured bear that was roaming around the Yellowknife airport has been captured and killed.

It's one of many bears spotted around the city in recent weeks — sightings that have prompted warnings from the N.W.T.'s environment department.

On Tuesday, the department said on Facebook that officers were working with airport fire personnel to capture the bear and had set up a bear trap. The following day, the department said they had captured it and taken it to their wildlife veterinarian.

It was injured so badly that the department decided to euthanize it. The department says the injuries happened prior to its capture.

"It's unfortunate, but it was determined that this animal was not a good candidate for relocation as she would be unlikely to survive or adequately prepare for hibernation if we let her go," said Jessica Davey-Quantick, a spokesperson for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR).

"This was the best thing we could have done for her."

'Tis the season

The encounter comes days after ENR said a bear was seen on Great Slave Helicopter's tarmac Friday.

Another one was spotted on 50th Street, across from the Northern Lites Motel.

On Aug. 29, environment officers killed a bear that had tried to break into several condo units at Forrest Manor.

Last week, the department asked people to be on high alert for bears in the city after sightings around Frame Lake, Tin Can Hill and near the airport.

Davey-Quantick said Wednesday that bears are more active now because they're getting ready for hibernation. The advice from ENR hasn't changed from last week.

"What we are still advising people to do is have extra caution if you're going out on the trails around Yellowknife. We have had a lot of reports of bears," she said.

She added many of the bears are moving through the area to somewhere else, so wildlife officers leave them alone.

"What we're advising people is if you're going to go out into their home, make sure that you are bear aware, keep pets leashed, keep a bear banger or bear spray, keep an eye on your kids and try to avoid going out when it's dark and visibility is poor."

The department is also reminding people to clean up their garbage, secure bear attractants like fuel and be careful if they have berry bushes on their property.

Bear sightings in Yellowknife can be reported to ENR at 867-873-7181.