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Relocation effort underway for black bear and cub near Yellowknife airport

Wildlife officials continue to try relocating a black bear mother and her cub early Sunday afternoon, after they had been spotted near the airport several times since Friday. People are being asked to

People asked to avoid area near airport, including sand pits

A black bear and her cub are shown near High Level, Alta. in May 2019. Wildlife officials in the N.W.T. are asking people to avoid the airport and sandpit area in Yellowknife, as they try to capture and relocate a mother bear and her cub. (Trevor Wilson/CBC)

Wildlife officials in the N.W.T. say efforts to relocate a black bear and her cub from the outskirts of Yellowknife were continuing early Sunday afternoon. 

The two bears had been spotted several times near the airport since Friday, said Mike Westwick, a spokesperson for the territory's environment and natural resources department, in an email Saturday evening. 

He asked people to avoid the area and the nearby sand pits because "the bears may move through that location." 

As of 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Westwick said the situation remained the same. 

He's asking people to immediately report bear sightings in Yellowknife to 1-867-873-7181. 

Last weekend, the department relocated a black bear sow and her two cubs from the dumpsters behind the Copperhouse restaurant in Yellowknife. 

The mother, who earned herself the name Copper, was fitted with a radio collar. In an update posted to Facebook on Thursday, the department reported "good news" on that family's condition

"Data from the radio collars are telling us the family seems to be doing well after relocation so far," the post read. "That's great news, as sometimes animals don't do so well after relocation."

On Friday, the department also posted a video of a bear from around Behchokǫ̀ being released in a new location "far away from any communities or cabins."

"The bear seemed healthy, and there weren't signs of habituation," the post reads.

Not all bears venturing into N.W.T. communities are relocated. The department shot and killed multiple bears in the Yellowknife area this past summer.

Written by Liny Lamberink

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