Edmonton

Fish and Wildlife officials euthanize black bear in St. Albert

A black bear that wandered into a St. Albert neighbourhood on Friday and Saturday had to be killed by wildlife staff.

The bear was first spotted in the Erin Ridge neighbourhood Friday evening

A black bear similar to this one was spotted in St. Albert this weekend. (Tyson Koschik/CBC file photo)

A black bear that wandered into a St. Albert neighbourhood this weekend had to be put down by wildlife staff.

Many St. Albert residents were surprised to find a black bear wandering around the Erin Ridge neighbourhood Friday evening and Saturday morning. 

Alberta Fish and Wildlife were told about the animal Friday night around 10 p.m.

A resident reported a bear was "trapped" in a yard and "agitated because it couldn't get out," according to an emailed statement from the provincial government.

The bear was spotted again by homeowners Saturday morning behind houses on Everett Drive, officials said.  

Cindy Rivard was one of the homeowners who saw the black bear on Saturday.

She was riding her bike around 9 a.m. when she spotted the animal on a walking path.

A black bear was spotted in St. Albert Friday evening and Saturday morning. (Cindy Rivard)

"When it first heard my brakes, it stopped, looked at me and started to run away," Rivard said. "I stopped to take a picture of it, it noticed me again and it started to walk towards me. Slowly, more just curious than anything."

Rivard didn't approach the bear but reported its whereabouts to wildlife officials.

Bear killed by wildlife officials

A spokesperson for St. Albert RCMP described the bear as young, potentially only a few years old, based on its small size.

It was located by Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers Saturday morning in a wooded area along a walking path. It was in a large tree.

Wildlife officials "immobilized" the bear and it fell to the ground, a statement said.

Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers "intended to relocate the bear", government spokesperson Dan Laville said in an email but the bear was injured after a tranquilizer dart hit it in the abdominal area.

The bear would not have survived if released and "officers had to make the difficult choice to put the bear down," Laville said in the statement.

Officials say it is not uncommon for wildlife to wander into urban areas like Edmonton and St. Albert.

Residents should keep garbage in bear-resistant bins and remove any shrubs or fruit-bearing trees that may attract bears, government staff said.