Crowd forms as bear tranquilized in backyard Transcona tree by conservation officers
Bear falls from tree after being jabbed with tranquilizer, will be monitored for 24 hours
Lindy Bichlbauer woke up to the familiar sounds of her neighbour's dog barking Tuesday morning and didn't think much of it. Little did she know there was a black bear next-door that later scrambled up a tree in her backyard and drew a crowd.
"I didn't call anybody. There was already people here before I got out of bed," she said.
A group of police, conservation officers, firefighters and paramedics zeroed in on the Lethbridge Avenue area in Winnipeg after hearing reports of a bear near Kildare Avenue W. around 6 a.m.
Officials found the black bear seven metres up a leafy tree in Bichlbauer's backyard.
Police said the bear did not act aggressively, though officers kept people in the neighbourhood from getting too close to the animal.
At about 8:15 a.m., a conservation officer jabbed the bear with a tranquilizer dart attached to the tip of a long pole. It fell from the tree but is in OK condition, said Joe Johannesson.
"The bear is on the ground and it's looking good right now," said Johannesson, a conservation officer with Manitoba Sustainable Development. "The operation went very well."
Watch how conservation officials got the bear out of the tree:
The 56-kilogram bear was placed in a cage and removed from the area. It will be monitored for the next 24 hours before being released.
"Once it wakes up and appears to be moving OK, it will be driven safely away from the city and released into the wild," a Manitoba Sustainable Development spokesperson said via email.
"The bear is a male, about two years old, and would be on its own by this age anyway so chances of survival should be excellent."
Johannesson said this is the second or third report of a black bear in the city this year. One was reported on Bishop Grandin and Fermor area about a month ago, he said.
Neighbours told to stay indoors
The bear meant a late start to the day for some of Bichlbauer's neighbours.
Nancy Kunkel, who lives on Lethbridge Avenue nearby, said police knocked on her door at about 6 a.m. to tell her to stay indoors because of a bear nearby.
Lori Heindle lives on Kootenay Crescent, which shares an alley with Lethbridge.
Her daughter called her at 6:45 a.m. to make sure the family dog wasn't outside because she heard there was a bear in the neighbourhood.
"I came out to try and see and I thought, 'Well, maybe I am a little bit crazy to do that,'" she said.
She has never seen a bear anywhere near her Winnipeg neighbourhood, but the black bear doesn't make her feel any less safe.
"I'm a country girl so I've seen them quite a few times … but in the city and that I wouldn't want to come out in the morning and be greeted by a bear, that's for sure."
Bichlbauer says she, too, is unfazed by the wild appearance and is glad conservation officers were able to tranquilize the bear rather than be forced to shoot it dead.
"I was just more worried for the bear," Bichlbauer said.
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With files from Meaghan Ketcheson