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Yukon man fined for pouring water down bear den

Romeo Leduc has been convicted and fined for harassing wildlife after he roused a sleeping bear this spring by pouring water down its den.

Romeo Leduc convicted of harrassing wildlife

A Yukon wood cutter has been convicted for harassing wildlife after he roused a sleeping bear this spring by pouring water down its den.

Romeo Leduc found a bear den on his woodlot in the Haines Junction area last winter, and wildlife authorities imposed a 300 metre no-cutting zone around the site, later reducing it to 100 metres. 

Leduc protested about lost income and by mid-April he purchased a hunting licence in preparation to evict the bear.

Romeo Leduc of Yukon has been convicted for harassing wildlife after he roused a sleeping bear this spring by pouring water down its den. (CBC)

In court this week, a neighbour described how he stood guard with a shotgun while Leduc poured two 20 litre pails of water down the den.

Soon after, a wet and groggy black bear emerged. A warning shot scared the bear up a tree.

Wildlife authorities don't know its eventual fate.

"That time of year, obviously bears need more nutrition if they are awake instead of hibernating, so when it's still snow-covered and not a lot of food around, two things can happen: either it starves or it increases the chance of human-wildlife conflicts and it gets into garbage or does property damage and gets shot, but nobody knows what happened to this bear," said Yukon conservation officer Ryan Hennings.

Leduc ​must pay a $2,000 fine, and he has been ordered to take the Environment Yukon hunter ethics course before he's allowed another hunting licence. 

Corrections

  • The original version of this story incorrectly stated the size of the buffer zone and the amount of water poured down the den.
    Oct 09, 2014 5:07 AM CT

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