British Columbia

Coquitlam bear in tree tranquillized

Emergency responders in Coquitlam tranquillized a bear after hundreds of people saw it near the playing fields in Town Centre Park.

Black bear falls from tree near playing fields after being hit with two darts

Emergency responders in Coquitlam tranquillized a bear after hundreds of people saw it near playing fields at Town Centre Park, Sunday afternoon.

Children were playing organized sports on fields along Pinetree Way when the animal showed up.

"I saw the bear when I was playing football," said Kayla Vella. "It was five feet away from my dad, it was scary."

When Vella's dad Josh saw the bear he handed his son, who was in his arms, over to his girlfriend and joined others who were trying to scare the animal away.

Josh Vella helped scare the bear away from fields where his daughter Kayla was playing. (CBC)

"The bear ran away to bushes and up a tree," he said. "Gladly where it ran, there was nobody there."

Police, firefighters and conservation officers arrived shortly afterwards to deal with the animal.

The response snarled traffic along the busy roadway as firefighters used a ladder to get conservation officers close enough to tranquillize the bear.

It took an hour for the bear to lose consciousness. After that conservation officers used a stick to shake the animal out of the tree. Eventually they cut branches away to free the bear.

Dangerous area

Finally, the bear fell to the ground as people watched. Police asked the crowd to leave the area saying the bear might have to be destroyed if noise from the crowd woke the animal up.

"[It's] probably one of the most dangerous areas we have, busy road, lots of people," said Sgt. Todd Hunter with the Conservation Officer Service. 

Officers were finally able to haul the sleeping animal onto the back of a truck and drive it away.

Once the bear's health is checked, it will be released, with the hope that it will not return to the area along Pinetree Way.

with files from the CBC's Deborah Goble