Quebec confirms a young bear captured near Montreal has been euthanized

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MONTREAL — Quebec's Wildlife Department is confirming that a young bear that was captured after it was found wandering in a Montreal suburb on Sunday has been euthanized.

The department said in an email late Tuesday the young adult bear was deemed a risk to human safety because it showed no fear of venturing into a noisy urban environment.

The news dismayed Sauvetage Animal Rescue, the group that spent several hours helping police and wildlife agents safely capture the bear with the use of tranquillizer darts.

The group said in a statement late Monday it had been assured the bear would be put back into the wild, and that it would have helped place the animal in a refuge if release wasn't possible.

Wildlife officials say the agency considers refuges temporary solutions to rehabilitate animals that can be put back in the wild, adding that captive life isn't optimal for bears.

Montrealers are taking to social media to express anger over the bear's fate, including through an online petition calling for the province's wildlife minister's resignation that has gathered over 4,000 signatures.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 26, 2021.

The Canadian Press