Manitoba

Polar bear caught on camera in Churchill ball diamond

A furry creature was caught on camera taking in some baseball Wednesday.

"We are the polar bear capital of the world, so we do have to coexist with the bears," says Danielle Daley.

A young polar bear was caught on camera trying to evade conservation officers in Churchill, Man. on Wednesday. (Danielle Daley/Facebook)

A furry creature was caught on camera taking in some baseball Wednesday.

An adolescent polar bear was seen in downtown Churchill and wandering through the local baseball diamond.

Danielle Daley, who works at the RBC bank in the Churchill plaza said she was at work waiting for her coworker to arrive when it all happened.

"She sent me a text message and she said, 'I'm going to be late. Look out the window,' because she couldn't enter the building. I ran to the window and sure enough I could see this bear," Daley said.

She said she managed to shoot some video of the hefty bear just before it was caught by conservation officers.

Daley said this is all part of life in Churchill. Yesterday alone she heard of two bears in town.

"We are the polar bear capital of the world, so we do have to coexist with the bears and conservation makes sure that the humans and the bears are both safe," she said.

"A little hectic"

Bob Windsor, a conservation officer who is based in Churchill said it's been a slow bear season in town, but Wednesday was "a little hectic for a while."

"We got a call that there was a bear right in town, which is kind of unusual. Usually the bears that get into town are at night time. It's fairly rare that we do get them in the day time, because they're usually seen prior to getting into town," he said.

Windsor told CBC News conservation officers had a difficult time cornering the bear because the diamond is fenced off, but has a number of gateways around its perimeter so people can walk through.

To top it off, people came out to watch the bear, forcing the conservation officers to make a quick decision for the sake of public safety.

"You don't want to push the bear to where there's people, so the decision was made to dart the bear. That would be the safest thing to do," he explained.

In Churchill, the bears are waiting for the summer ice to come in on Hudson's Bay to hunt for seal, and the town lies between the bears' summer dens and the bay.

Bears like this 200-pound female will end up in a holding facility for 30 days, and then released about 40 kilometres out of town.

"Our top priority is the safety of people, that's the first priority that we have with the polar bear alert program. The second priority is the safety of the bear. That ranks right up there also," he said.