2012-09-06 at 17:59
Conservation officer tranquilizes, captures mother bear trapped in tree
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A mother bear and her two cubs spent the better part of Thursday afternoon up a Fort William First Nation tree.
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An MNR official was called to the scene by Anishnawbek Police Service, who had cordoned off a portion of Mission Road when the repeat offender animals were spotted.
Conservation officer Ross Johnston said he tranquilized the mother bear, then knocked it out of the tree, where it fell about 25 feet to the ground and was quickly caged before it woke up.
Johnston then asked a large crowd of onlookers to vacate the street to encourage the skittish yearlings to leave the tree and find their mother.
“Maybe we’ll try to trick them and if everybody is quiet they’ll come down and try to get as close to their mother as they can and then I’ll close the cart,” Johnston said.
Though not over yet, Johnston added it wasn’t a difficult call to handle.
“You always take the female first, because otherwise if you take one of her cubs, she’ll get really upset. If you have the cubs in the trap and the female outside that’s a difficult situation because she won’t let you get near the trap.
“And if you’re trying to tranquilize her, she also uses the trap as a shield.”
Johston said the bears will be relocated about 150 kilometres away, though he doesn’t hold out much hope they won’t return.
“There was a study done, I think it was based out of Sudbury, that showed that adults over five years of age have a very high tendency to return. I think it’s in the area of 80 per cent,” he said. “It’s quick. She could be back here within a week, even with the young in tow.”
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