Family of bears spotted getting into Yellowknife restaurant garbage

·1 min read
A black bear sow and cubs in Metro Vancouver. The Department of Natural Resources in the N.W.T. says a family of bears spotted near the Yellowknife Airport on Thursday are still in the area, and were most recently seen getting into the garbage behind a restaurant.  (Maja Lakhani - image credit)
A black bear sow and cubs in Metro Vancouver. The Department of Natural Resources in the N.W.T. says a family of bears spotted near the Yellowknife Airport on Thursday are still in the area, and were most recently seen getting into the garbage behind a restaurant. (Maja Lakhani - image credit)

A family of bears — including one of its members that aggressively charged a person near the airport on Thursday — has been spotted getting into the garbage behind the Copperhouse restaurant in Yellowknife, according to the territorial government.

In an update posted on Facebook late Friday afternoon, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) said a mother and her two cubs had been seen near Parker Park and Rivett Crescent, and had been most recently spotted at the restaurant.

The department says it has four officers and a biologist looking for the animals, and people should contact ENR immediately if they see them.

"A live trap has been set up on the south side of the airport in order to try and relocate the family," the update read. "The trap may take a few days to be successful, and it's important everyone remain alert and patient for the safety of the community and the bears."

The department said tranquilizing the animals can be faster than a live trap, but that "these bears are skittish of vehicles" and officers wouldn't be able to get close enough to tranquilize them safely.

On Thursday, ENR said one of the bears aggressively charged a person near Great Slave Helicopters. It said the animals were scared away with noise deterrents, and a fence prevented harm being done to the bystander.

Mike Westwick, a spokesperson for the department, told CBC News in an email that the bystander believed it was a cub attacking, but that charging is "uncharacteristic behaviour for a cub."

At least three bears have been killed in Yellowknife this summer.

Phone numbers for the wildlife emergency hotline can be found here.

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