Sudbury

Sudbury woman calls for more police training after injured bear cub shot

A Sudbury woman wants more training for police responding to reports of injured wildlife, after officers shot an injured bear cub on Radar Road last Thursday.

Sudbury police say they are reviewing the incident

A Sudbury woman wants more training for police responding to reports of injured wildlife, after an injured bear she stopped to help was shot by police. (Anne Chadwick/Supplied)

A Sudbury woman wants more training for police responding to reports of injured wildlife, after officers shot an injured bear cub on Radar Road last Thursday.

Anne Chadwick was driving her husband to the airport when she saw what she thought was a black plastic bag on the road.

When she slowed to avoid the bag, Chadwick said she realized it was actually a bear cub.

"You could see that he was kind of curled up almost and you could see he was hurt," Chadwick told CBC News. "He had blood on his snout and he wasn't quite able to get up."

Chadwick is originally from Scotland and said she decided to call 911 because she didn't know where else to turn.

As she waited for police, Chadwick said the bear seemed to perk up and was trying to eat an apple it was given by another driver who stopped to help.

Chadwick said the bear seemed to perk up and was trying to eat an apple it was given by another driver who stopped to help while they waited for police. (Anne Chadwick/Supplied)

'I will never get the sound of that bear cub's crying out of my head'

"I initially thought that he may have broken one or two of his legs on his right side from where the vehicle had struck him. But as time was progressing, he was looking brighter and he was trying to weight-bear."

When police arrived, Chadwick was horrified to learn they planned to kill the animal. She said one of the officers shot the bear four times before it eventually died.

"I will never get the sound of that bear cub's crying out of my head, never mind watching him thrash around like that," she said.

"If I thought that would've been the only course of action they would've taken, I would've tried, or in someway I would've been Googling alternatives myself."

After witnessing the incident, Chadwick said she now wants police to receive more training on other resources available for injured animals, such as wildlife rescue agencies, as well as training on how to humanely euthanize an animal.

Staff Sgt. Terry Rumford speaking to residents at a Community Policing Forum in Lively back in January. Rumford says Sudbury police have a procedure for responding to wildlife calls. (Benjamin Aubé/CBC)

Officers trained to humanely 'dispatch' animals

Every year, Sudbury police respond to several calls related to bears that are in public areas or that have been struck by vehicles, according to Staff Sergeant Terry Rumford.

"We do have a procedure for it," Rumford explained. "[It's] also interesting to note that on an annual basis, our officers who are deemed shotgun operators receiving training in the dispatch of animals to ensure that they do it in the most humane way possible."

"It's certainly not a call that the officers enjoy making, but nonetheless we have to make these tough choices from time to time for humanitarian reasons."

Rumford said there will be a detailed review of the incident and any potential shortcomings or training issues will be identified.

"We're always ready to learn and move forward and if there's something we can do by contacting a private agency that may be able to deal with this or other possible avenues that could make a more palatable decision for the community, then we're all for that."

About the Author

Robin De Angelis is a multimedia journalist based in southwestern Ontario. She has previously worked as a reporter covering local news in Sudbury. Get in touch on Twitter @RobinElizabethD or by email robin.deangelis@cbc.ca

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