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Bear spotted in Lumsden euthanized after risk to public safety: Sask. RCMP

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A young bear that had made its way into Lumsden, Sask. was killed by Saskatchewan RCMP officers after unsuccessful efforts to trap it.

The bear wandered through town on Wednesday and Thursday, with several people taking to social media to document its existence.

However, the unique encounter took a sudden turn as attempts to capture and relocate the curious cub failed after conservation offices set up a bear trap on Thursday afternoon.

On Thursday evening, Lumsden RCMP received a report that the bear was in a tree in a highly populated part of town. An email from Sask. RCMP said their officers were in contact with conservation officers throughout the day, but RCMP officers made the decision to put down the bear.

“After assessing the situation and determining an imminent risk to public safety existed, officers euthanized the bear,” the email read.

Numerous people protested the killing of the bear on social media, with many outraged by the situation.

A response from the Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety said in situations like these, responding officers assess each situation on a case-by-case basis to figure out the best approach, with the safety of the public as the top priority.

“In this case, the trap set by conservation officers was not successful in capturing the bear. Because the bear was mobile and not contained, chemical immobilization/relocation would not have been a viable option in this case, even if conservation officers had been able to reach the scene in time,” the statement read.

“RCMP officers are not trained or equipped to tranquilize or relocate wildlife.”

As black bears exist in most of Saskatchewan, the ministry said it’s important to take safety precautions to avoid bear encounters by making sure that garbage, garden waste, barbeques, birdfeeders, and other items that can attract them are secure.

Bears are food-motivated and will return to places they know they can get food.

If someone does encounter a bear, it is recommended that people keep their distance, make a wide detour, calmly back away, speak in low tones, and don’t look right at the bear.

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