After six hours at large, bear roaming around Dorval captured by animal control
Police received reports about a bear sighting in the West Island on Sunday afternoon
At around 1 p.m. on Sunday, Montreal police received calls about a bear spotted on the loose in Dorval. Six hours and four tranquilizer darts later, the animal was captured safely.
After receiving reports of the bear roaming around backyards in the West Island neighbourhood, police launched a search operation and warned residents to stay inside.
Animal control services were called in to assist police as they cornered and tried to sedate the bear, who had taken refuge in a tree.
The bear was hit with two darts before it escaped and wandered off.
After its initial flight, a security perimeter was established in the area.
The bear was found in another tree, shot with two more darts and fell asleep, Radio-Canada reports.
Once asleep, animal control was able to capture the bear safely.
'It appeared all of a sudden'
William Weston, who lives in Dorval, saw the bear twice in his neighbour's backyard.
The first time was shortly after police arrived on the scene.
"I went up to our attic floor where there's a window, trying to see if I could see it. And as I was looking into my neighbour's backyard, ... it appeared all of a sudden."
Weston said after snapping the picture, he opened the window and yelled to police about its location.
"They were frantically trying to corral it," he said. "And then I saw it go up a tree."
The next time he spotted the bear, it had fled the tree and had a dart sticking out of its side.
It's not yet clear where the bear came from.
According to the Ecomuseum in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, the bear isn't one of their animals.
They only have one bear, a spokesperson confirmed, and it's accounted for.
Delay caused by need for veterinarian on site
On Sunday evening Sauvetage Animal Rescue put out a release detailing how the intervention operation unfolded.
They said part of the delay in being able to sedate the bear was due to the fact that they had to wait for a veterinarian to be on the scene before they could begin.
According to the release, the Sauvetage Animal Rescue organization does not have a full-time veterinarian on staff due to lack of funding. The group's volunteer veterinarian was on vacation.
The team had to work hard to locate a veterinarian who could come to the site and provide them with the sedatives needed to carry out the operation, which are tightly controlled medications.
Once obtained, wildlife officers arrived on the scene to administer the tranquilizer.
"Thanks to the quick intervention of the [Montreal police] and our team and the collaboration of the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, the operation was a success and a death was avoided. The bear cub can be released in an environment that will be more suitable for him," reads the statement.
With files from Holly Cabrera and Radio-Canada's Marie-Josée Paquette-Comeau