The bear who spent the day at large roaming Georgetown has been safely captured.
Halton Hills confirmed a black bear was wandering around Georgetown on the morning of May 18 in a warning for residents to stay vigilant. Hours later Halton Regional Police reported the bear had moved on to the area around McKinnon Ave. and Barber Dr.
Hours later, the bear was captured on a home security camera by Sara Jukel-Edson and Heather Dbs and shared on Facebook.
Shortly thereafter, police and the National Wildlife Centre managed to track the bear down. He was tranquilized, according to witnesses, and intubated to aid his breathing. A vet from the National Wildlife Centre was on scene to treat him.
Police confirmed the bear would be re-released into the wild. An officer on scene said it was their tactical officer who fired the tranquilizer dart, but it was not a police issue gun. Instead it was supplied to them. The officer described it as a perfect shot.
According to Bear Wise, a bear education program, residents should “call 911 or your local police if a bear poses an immediate threat to personal safety and exhibits threatening or aggressive behaviour, such as:
- enters a schoolyard when school is in session
- stalks people and lingers at the site
- enters or tries to enter a residence
- wanders into a public gathering
- kills livestock/pets and lingers at the site
Police will respond first to an emergency situation, but may request assistance from the ministry during daylight hours.
However, for non-emergency encounters, they should call the toll-free Bear Wise reporting line at 1-866-514-2327 if the bear;
- roams around or checks garbage cans
- breaks into a shed where garbage or food is stored
- is in a tree
- pulls down a bird feeder or knocks over a barbecue
- moves through a backyard or field but does not linger
This line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from April 1 to November 30.
If one encounters this bear the should;
- Slowly back away while keeping the bear in sight and wait for it to leave
- Throw objects, wave your arms and make noise with a whistle, air horn or yelling if the bear does not leave
- Prepare to use bear spray
- Get inside a building or vehicle, if you are nearby, as a precaution
- Drop any food you may be carrying and slowly move away
- Leave a bear alone if it is in a tree, leave the area, the bear will come down when it feels safe
- Play dead only if you encounter a mother bear with cubs
They should not, however;
- Run, climb a tree or swim
- Kneel down
- Make direct eye contact
- Approach the bear to get a better look
- Attempt to feed a bear
- Let your dog off its leash
- Play dead unless you are attacked by a mother bear defending her cubs