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Bear on the loose

Derek Neary
Northern News Services

(July 22/05) - A black bear that caused a stir in Fort Simpson on Tuesday night was shot and killed.

The male bear was roaming in a residential area up the hill from the Papal site just after 10 p.m. Renewable Resources officer Carl Lafferty drove to the scene and, using his loudspeaker, warned residents to stay inside their homes.

After being pursued for close to 15 minutes, the bear, huffing and vocalizing, climbed a tree. Some community members couldn't resist stepping outside to take a look, others remained oblivious to the danger.

"There were still people on bikes," said Lafferty. "I was just taking stock of what was going on around there. Everything was pointing towards if you get a shot, you better take it."

The animal looked to be underweight, he added.

Lafferty no sooner finished up at the scene when he said he received another report of a bear near the causeway, about a kilometre away.

He fired cracker shells into the bush but saw no sign of the second bear.

"Fortunately we haven't had to destroy too many," Lafferty said. "I think we've done a good job culling the frequent fliers around here."