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Roaming bear frightens children

Jessica Klinkenberg
Northern News Services
Published Friday, August 24, 2007

YELLOWKNIFE - A group of nine-year-old girls fled in terror late Wednesday afternoon when one of them disturbed a bear in Olexin Park near Tin Can Hill.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Wildlife calls

  • Aug. 18: 5:50 a.m.: Black bear found near the Aven Centre and destroyed near Gitzel St.
  • 12:30 p.m.: Report of a wolf at the dump not afraid of people.
  • 10:15 p.m.: Report of a bear at Fred Henne Park.
  • 11:30 p.m.: Bear reported at Jackfish Lake heading to town.
  • Aug. 19: Midnight: Bear spotted running across the road from Giant Mine Shaft.
  • No bears within Yellowknife, but a bear destroyed in Dettah.
  • Aug. 20: 7 a.m.: Bear reported near Giant Mine by three different people.
  • Aug. 22: 7:05 a.m.: Female bear and cub reported near the Con Mine recreation hall.
  • 7 a.m.: Bear reported at YK Motors, then headed behind Explorer Hotel and then near Niven Drive.
  • 8:18 a.m.: Bear reported on Con Mine property.
  • 4:45 p.m.: Bear spotted at Olexin Park.
  • Midnight: The bear reported near YK Motors is caught near Trail's End trailer park and destroyed.
  • "I was scared to death," one of the girls said after the bear growled and they raced out of the woods that border the small park on 52 Street, across from Coast Fraser Tower.

    One girl lost a shoe in the rush to escape.

    "Samantha said she saw a cat and went to see it and she woke (the bear) up," Chanice Menacho explained.

    "When we went back up the rock again we saw the bear walking through the forest," another said.

    The sighting was reported to Environment and Natural Resources, but the bear was long gone by the time wildlife officers were dispatched.

    Raymond Bourget, senior wildlife officer for the North Slave Region, said an officer investigating a bear sighting in the Con Mine area around 8 a.m. Wednesday saw the animal run towards Tin Can Hill.

    The bear was shy and easily scared by noises, Bourget said.

    Wednesday was a busy day for wildlife officers. Another black bear was spotted near YK Motors around 7 a.m. and ran across behind the Explorer Hotel, Bourget said.

    The bear wandered past the Salvation Army and the Racquet Club, and was seen at the Ski Club and the Yacht Club. It was eventually tranquilized near Trail's End at midnight.

    Bourget said the bear had been caught and relocated two years earlier. This time it was destroyed.

    At this time of year, young male bears are following natural green space, looking for homes, when they blunder into the city, Bourget said.

    "It's not unexpected. They're trying to find their own home range and they're on the move," said Bourget

    "They tend to go in cycles, and it's been quiet for awhile. In 1999 we handled over 50 black bears within the Yellowknife area, including the city dump."