British Columbia

Bear spotted near Gastown relocated back to the wild

Vancouver police and conservation officers managed to track and tranquilize the black bear in the area of Heatley Avenue and Powell Street.

The black bear appears to have wandered into Vancouver along harbourfront train tracks

The bear seen wandering down train tracks toward downtown Vancouver was tranquilized and relocated. (submitted by Craig Minielly)

A wayward black bear that sauntered into an industrial area of Vancouver close to Gastown on Wednesday was tranquilized and has been relocated back to the wild.

Photographer Craig Minielly said he was working in his studio on Railway Street when he heard a ruckus and looked out his window to see the bear on the train tracks that run along the harbourfront east of Main Street. 

"I heard some yelling coming from outside — it's not unusual to hear yelling in this area, but it seemed a little different," he said. 

"I happened to look down and directly below me was a bear on the tracks and officers were yelling at it and throwing rocks to move it in a direction away from downtown."

According to the Vancouver Police Department, the bear had been sighted earlier in the area of the Pacific National Exhibition grounds and was tracked by police and conservation officers.

It was eventually corralled and tranquilized in the area of Heatley Avenue and Powell Street.

Although it happens rarely, bears have made their way into the city in the past.

In 2011, a black bear that appeared on top of a garbage truck outside the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Cambie Street caused a big commotion.

Police and conservation officers officer keep a close eye on the bear as it headed east from the PNE toward Gastown. (submitted by Craig Minielly)

It's believed the animal had climbed into a dumpster in North Vancouver that had then been tipped into the truck.

It's not uncommon for wildlife to wander from the east into Vancouver, down the corridor of train tracks and greenbelts that run along Burrard Inlet, which is likely how the bear made its way so close to downtown.

With files from Dan Burritt