People in a Dieppe neighbourhood are still in shock after police tracked down and killed a black bear in a backyard Wednesday evening.  

Hai LeQuang said that everything seemed like a regular weeknight until police cars lined the front of his home, and an officer came to his door, warning him to stay inside.

" 'Stay inside, stay in the house, and close the door,' " LeQuang said he was told by the officer.

Before LeQuang and his family had a chance to figure out what was going on, he heard gunshots.

"I said, ‘Oh, my God, what happened here?’ Then one of the policemen came to the door and he explained to me that they just shot a bear," he said.

RCMP officers killed the small bear right in LeQuang's backyard under an apple tree where it probably had been looking for something to eat.


RCMP Const. Damien Theriault said officers shot the bear to protect residents. ((CBC))

"Our members approached the animal and waited until they had a clear shot, a safe shot, and they took it," RCMP Const.Damien Theriault said.

He said the RCMP had received 15 calls that "a bear was on the loose" in the neighbourhood.

While a ranger with the Department of Natural Resources was en route, police decided to kill the bear because it was getting dangerously close to homes.

Kevin Craig, a wildlife biologist with the department, said the officer at the scene had complete discretion to act with regard to public safety.

"We certainly don't second-guess those people who are on the scene, and our own staff have that same ability to destroy animals that they feel are a threat to public safety," he said.

But, some neighbours wondered if killing the bear was the only option.

"They could have tranquilized him, bring him to the zoo. Somebody could have done something about it," Ashley Cleveland said.

Leonard Goguen said it's worrisome that the bear was in a residential neighbourhood, but thinks he knows what's going on.

"We're probably encroaching on their habitats everywhere and they're trying find other places to find food," he said.