A Mountie shot an adolescent bear dead in a tree because it was too close to a downtown school, say Vernon RCMP.
The officer walked out the back door of the downtown detachment and noticed the two-year-old black bear wandering on the 35th Avenue sidewalk before 4 a.m. Wednesday. The bruin ran up the tree when it saw the officer and stayed there.
Police called the conservation office, but no one was available, said Cpl. Gerry Kovaks.
"We gave the bear some time, to allow him to move on and find a better place to be. Our police station is located one block from a large elementary school and we're in the downtown core."
Hundreds of children were to start
arriving at Beairsto Elementary at 8 a.m. The officer waited about an hour before firing one shot at the bear with a revolver. The animal fell to the ground and died. The carcass was later removed.
"We're literally one and a half hours from a city coming alive and (people) wandering the streets. Decisions had to be made. It's tragic and sad, but public safety is a priority," Kovaks said.
The animal somehow ambled several kilometres into the city to reach the downtown. It's unlikely it would have made its way back to the woods, police said.
"It's not like it crept into the edge of a residential suburb. It's in the downtown core," said Kovaks. "It had no interest to move along . . . It's upsetting to people
and we understand. Public safety is our business."
The bear weighed an estimated 200 pounds.