Ross Johnston, left, and police put a bear into a trailer Sunday afternoon.
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Another bear headed into town on the long weekend was captured.
Thunder Bay police received numerous 911 calls about a black bear roaming the streets of the city’s South side just after 1:30 p.m. Sunday. First spotted on Simpson Street, the large female bear ran towards City Hall and the Brodie Street Library before being chased up a tree on the 400 block of Vickers Street South. Police had the street blocked off between Ridgeway Street and Isabella Street until the MNR came and tranquilized it.
“I suspect that she came from the island, probably swam across the river and into downtown Fort William,” MNR conservation officer Ross Johnston said after putting the bear into a caged trailer.
It’s the second time this weekend he’s had to capture a bear in the city. Another one was tranquilized on Stanley Avenue Saturday morning. Johnston said with blueberries in short supply and the hibernation season coming, bears need to fatten up and are desperate for food.
“They’re in between food sources right now and they’re just on the lookout (for food),” he said.
The city has plenty of wooded areas, which means there are plenty of bear habitats around Johnston said.
“They’re there,” he said. “They’re always there.”
Despite the recent activity, Johnston said this has been a pretty quiet year for bear sightings in the city. The worst one he remembers was 1994 when more than 40 of the animals were destroyed in the city. This time of year is particularly bad also because people aren’t picking apples and other fruit off of their trees.
Still, to see one in such a heavy residential area is not normal.
“She was obviously chased to this location by people yelling and the police,” he said. “It’s odd that you see a bear this far into town.”
The bear will be tagged and taken up to 150 kilometres out of the city Johnston said.
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