Black bear spotted in tree near Whitehorse trail
Joggers and hikers had to stay off part of the Millennium Trail in Whitehorse Thursday afternoon, after a young black bear was sighted in a tree right beside the trail.
Whitehorse RCMP alerted people to stay off the trail, at the point below the Whitehorse Fish Ladder in the city's Riverdale area, after the bear was spotted around 1 p.m. PT.
Conservation officers shot the bear with two tranquillizer darts, and it fell about 10 metres to the ground. It will be relocated to an area outside the city.
"There's bears everywhere. We're constantly reminding people that, you know, this is bear country. It's nothing untoward to see a bear right here," senior conservation officer Kris Gustafson said Thursday.
"Just be bear aware. Manage your attractants, especially food and garbage, and just be aware that anytime you're running in the trails or working in the hinterlands ... [that] this is bear country and you might run into a bear, just like 20 or 30 runners or hikers could have this afternoon."
While people should watch out for bears, Gustafson said they should not be overly alarmed if they do see one. Instead, he advised people to stop and assess what to do next.
"I mean, you're not in grave danger just because there's a bear present. Just stop. If you're carrying a deterrent with you, you might want to consider putting it in your hand," he said.
"If the bear doesn't see you, the simplest thing is just to turn around and go back the other way, checking over your shoulder occasionally to make sure that the bear is not following you or doing anything untoward."
Meanwhile, Gustafson warned Whitehorse residents to avoid using the wooded area at the bottom of the Two Mile Hill across from the local Canadian Tire store, because a pregnant cow moose has been frequenting the area and is expected to calf anytime soon.
Once the calf is born, the cow moose will become extremely protective and could be dangerous, Gustafson said. He warned people not to approach the moose if they see her.