La Ronge Conservation Officers have relocated a family of black bears that were spotted within that community.
The Saskatchewan Association of Conservation Officers recently released a video showing two officers releasing a bear and her two cubs approximately 80 kilometres from town.
The bears allegedly had been causing trouble and had become a public safety risk.
La Ronge Conservation Officer Brad Johns, said officers used a swing-door bear trap to capture the animals.
“Most of the bear traps used by Saskatchewan Conservation Officers are modern swing-door bear traps that have a mesh front for air circulation and steel sides for safety. Officers evaluate each situation independently and determine the best course of action for public safety and the welfare of the animal. In this case, officers set a specific trap for the sow and cubs, and we were able to trap the sow, and then in the early morning, we were able to trap the cubs,” he explained.
There are different means to release trapped bears, depending on the location of release, behaviour of the bear, and type of trap. As part of the recent release, the two officers involved determined the best method was to have the release officer stand on top of the trap, with an officer acting as overwatch carrying a shotgun loaded with slugs should the bear decide to turn on the officers.
With this release, the sow exited the trap and headed towards a treeline, with the cubs following shortly after. “Bears, like all wild animals, can be unpredictable; give bears and all wildlife space and respect. If you do encounter a bear, keep your distance and try not to scare the animal away. Make a wide detour, calmly back away, speak in low tones, and don’t look directly at the bear. Most often, the animals will move on without any intervention. If you have an aggressive encounter with a bear and your public safety is at risk, please call the turn-in poacher line at 1-800-667-7561 or call 911,” said Johns.
Bears occasionally wander into residential areas or campgrounds. Pet food, garbage, BBQs, and even empty pop cans can look like food to bears, so to prevent attracting bears, residents should keep things clean and hidden. The more a bear becomes accustomed to human food, the less likely it is that relocation becomes a feasible option.
So far this year, La Ronge Conservation Officers have responded to 30 calls for service regarding bears.
(Photo courtesy of Wise About Bears.)