back to top

Ontario Cops Shot And Killed A Black Bear And People Are Very Upset

Police say they'd run out of options.

Posted on

On Monday morning, residents of Newmarket, Ont. awoke to find a black bear scampering through their backyards.

More chopper photos: Bear in Newmarket backyard

The bear was seen multiple times over the weekend, a rather rare sight in the town, according to York Regional Police. By mid-morning on Monday, police had corralled the bear into a backyard where it shimmied up a tree.

Despite efforts to keep the bear in the tree, it climbed back down and at that point police say they had no other option than to shoot it.

Global News / Via

The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) had been called to help capture the bear, but hadn't yet arrived on scene.

“The officers involved and York Regional Police regret the incident but there were no other options,” said Chief Eric Jolliffe in a statement.

“Police officers are not equipped with tranquilizers nor are they trained on the containment of wild animals. We will be following up with the MNR in an attempt to improve the response to such incidents.”

The bear was also not far from an elementary school and police say they were "were left with no choice but to use lethal force in order to preserve public safety."

But that explanation just isn't enough for those who say the bear needn't have been killed.

@YRP poor excuse the bear was on the loose for days you should have been prepared instead of gun happy #newmarket bear

Locals heckled officials as they removed the bear from the backyard in a bodybag.

Global News / Via

"You even got a bag for it, why don't you take it out and show the people what you guys did?" a man shouts before a chorus of boos from the crowd.

That man, Terry McRae, did not hesitate to make his concerns known to media.

View this video on YouTube

"This shooting of a bear, it’s disgusting. If I hunted a bear down I’d be thrown in jail," he said.

According to the National Post, the ministry had known about the bear since Saturday but wouldn't respond until it had been contained. Though they were called at 6:30 a.m. Monday, by the time they arrived it was too late.