Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Black bear removed from tree in Pincher Creek

Jared Thompson and Toni Lucas photos
Toni Lucas - A mature black bear was discovered hiding up a tree today, Wednesday, September 9, on a property at the corner of Mountain Street and Police Avenue in Pincher Creek.  Fish and Wildlife, RCMP, and Town of Pincher Creek Bylaw officers worked together to get the bear down in a safe manner, using tranquilizer darts to subdue it. It was removed from the scene with a bear trap trailer. The bear was discovered by an unidentified citizen.

Tranquilized bear falling from tree
Jared Thompson photo
Jared Thompson photo
Fish and Wildlife Officer Paul Johnson said, "Usually the ones that cause us troubles are the yearlings, or two year old males, they are a lot like humans, they get curious.  They are like teenagers, and they get into trouble.  This one certainly wasn't like that.  He is a big mature male."  Johnson explained this bear had not been previously tagged, and estimated it weighs approximately 350 lbs.  The bear was noticed because he was knocking down branches from the tree.  As you can perhaps see from the accompanying photographs, he was fairly well hidden from casual view.  Authorities tranquilized him in the tree, and were ready to deal with him on the ground.

Down but not completely out
Jared Thompson photo
Jared Thompson photo
"We did receive a call about a bear in town,  earlier this week, so we knew there was one, but it hasn't been an ongoing problem," said Johnson. "We haven't been getting a bunch of calls, or knocked down garbage cans, and things like that.  I don't think he has made a habit of hanging out in town.  With the bear that he is, and the fact that he is so big and healthy, and he hasn't been causing a bunch of problems in town, I suspect he was walking down the river valley.  He probably got into Pincher Creek and then people are getting up and going to work, and kids were going to school."

"Probably if we just left him, once things quieten down sometime around 11:00 tonight, he would be down and out."

Into the portable bear trap
Jared Thompson photo
Johnson would like to remind the public to report sightings, incidents, or poaching to 1-800-642-3800.  "That goes to our Provincial radio control centre.  They get in touch with whoever is best available to respond."  Fish and Wildlife work closely with RCMP and other local authorities in situations like this.  "They are who we really count on for stuff like this."

Sightseers at scene after bear was secured
This is a time of year where bears are fattening up for winter and will continue to do so through November.  Some ways to curb human-wildlife conflict is to reduce attractants for wildlife including bears.  This includes putting garbage out on garbage day,  cleaning out bird feeders regularly, and picking apples up off of the ground and out of trees.

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