I live in a small town and we have lovely parks and forests around. Little forests. We don’t have enough to house a bear! But yesterday morning as I was getting into my car at 7:30 I wondered what a helicopter was hovering so close to my area was about. It turns out a couple of minutes from me police were after a bear in our little downtown area. Where did he come I can’t even imagine and how he made it this far into my town we wonder….there is a video clip and the following was written:
June 03, 2009 03:08 PM
Joe Fantauzzi When John Stephenson saw the York Regional Police helicopter this morning, he thought a criminal was on the run.
As it turned out, the suspect was bigger and furrier than any man, woman or child.
Emergency workers rushed to the a neighbourhood in the Wellington and Wells streets area around 7 a.m. to find a black bear, believed to be two years or older, up a tree.
"I didn't think I would ever see a bear in Aurora," Mr. Stephenson, 55, of Aurora, said while standing amid dozens of people, some with cameras and mobile phones capturing images and video.
By 9:45 a.m., firefighters and Ministry of Natural Resources officials had raised and leaned a ladder against the trunk of a willow tree.
As York officers carrying long guns kept a crowd in neighbouring backyards at a distance, the bear held his ground. A ministry official slowly walked up the ladder with a pole, known as a poke stick, topped by a syringe full of drugs.
A few moments later, the crew changed its plan, repositioned the ladder on another side of the tree and unfurled a tarp at the base in anticipation of the bear tumbling down.
Instead, it ambled up even higher into the branches.
Also in the crowd, Aurora resident Erik Bowles, 47, noted garbage collection was scheduled for the area.
"It might have just been garbage-picking," he speculated. "It's not everyday you see one of those. I think it's just scared with all the people."
Lynn Steele, 34, of Aurora said she believes too much development too quickly has driven wild animals from their homes and into surrounding neighbourhoods.
"I've never heard of this," Ms Steele said. "Wasn't there an elephant a while back?"
Ms Steele was referring to three elephants that escaped from Garden Bros. Circus in Newmarket about two years ago and were eventually corralled.
By about 10:05 a.m., the bear was visibly losing its grip on the tree branches.
Firefighters and ministry workers again positioned the tarp and about four minutes later the bear dropped. But didn't stop.
As emergency workers jumped out of the way, the bear, which by some estimates was in the 90 kg (200 pound) range, trekked further into the yard.
It sent some onlookers in a nearby yard could scrambling for safety by climbing a fence.
"Move back for your own safety!" one firefighter called out, when one man appeared to nearly fall over the fence.
At about 10:30 a.m., the crews, with the bear in tow, slung on the tarp, moved the sedated animal safely to a cage and placed a pink blanket over its face.
Bears have a home range and young male bears tend to move around, ministry biologist Warren May said.
"This male may have been moving outside of his area already, so we'll be taking him into an area that hopefully won't have as many people around," he said.
The ministry had not received any calls about the bear previously, he added.
"He just kind of showed up over night," Mr. May said.
Bears do wander into urban areas but not very often, he added.
"It's not the first time, it won't be the last time but it's not an every day occurrence," Mr. May said.
The plan was to release the bear north of the Greater Toronto Area, he added.
"You would never have this if it was a big skunk," Mr. Stephenson said lightheartedly. "No one would go near the place."
Have a lovely day…and if you are out walking…watch out for bears…. Judi xoxo