Killing of black bear in Yellowknife 'necessary' for public safety: ENR

·1 min read
A black bear eating berries near Jasper, Alta., in August 2020. The Department of Natural Resources in the N.W.T. says bear encounters are more likely this time of year, because the animals are foraging for berries ahead of the winter. (Therese Kehler/CBC News - image credit)
A black bear eating berries near Jasper, Alta., in August 2020. The Department of Natural Resources in the N.W.T. says bear encounters are more likely this time of year, because the animals are foraging for berries ahead of the winter. (Therese Kehler/CBC News - image credit)

A black bear that was spotted roaming N'Dilo and Yellowknife's Old Town neighbourhood on Thursday has been killed, according to the N.W.T.'s Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR).

In a Thursday evening post on Facebook, ENR said an officer "dispatched" the animal because it had gotten close to a number of homes in the area and its behaviour "suggested it had become habituated to city life."

"This was necessary to protect public safety," the post reads in part.

It had been found near the park on Otto Drive, said the department.

Mike Westwick, the department's manager of communications, told CBC News in an email Thursday that ENR first received a call about the bear on Latham Island at around 8 a.m. that day.

"The officer on-call responded right away and spotted the bear on someone's deck. The bear immediately darted away after seeing the officer," he said.

Two ENR officers patrolled the area, and drove one person home, he said.

"Bears are out foraging for berries and other food as they prepare for hibernation. That means bear sightings should be expected," Westwick added.

The most important things people can do, he said, is to never leave garbage, food, or anything that smells outside and to avoid walking alone at night, especially in forested areas.

If you do spot a bear, ENR's guidance is to make yourself look big, avoid eye contact, make loud noises and back away slowly — and then to call the department's wildlife emergency line as soon as possible.

The number in the North Slave region is 867-873-7181.

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