Bear leads Markham, Ont. authorities on chase

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CTV.ca | Bear leads Markham, Ont. authorities on chase


Bear leads Markham, Ont. authorities on chase
CTV.ca News Staff

If you would have gone to a Markham, Ont. park today, you would have been in for a big surprise.

A two-year-old, 150-pound black bear showed up, leading to an entertaining afternoon for spectators and a stressful one for officials.

The animal led police and wildlife officials on a three-hour chase through the suburban community perched on Toronto’s northeastern border — providing lots of photo and video opportunities in the process.

“Oh yeah, it’s great. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bear in Markham before,” one young man told CTV News.

“I don’t know how in the Sam Hill he ever got here,” exclaimed an older gentleman.

Bears are forest creatures, and Markham is in the heart of suburbia, with farmland stretching northward or another 100 kilometres, although the southern range of bear country in Ontario would be about 60 to 70 km north of Markam.

But a few weeks ago, Newmarket, which is north and slightly west of Markham, had its own bear visit to contend with.

That animal also led authorities on a vigorous chase. The male was tranquillized while he lounged up in a tree and had to be lowered by rope.

The Markham bear rambled through backyards and hopped fences with ease.

Shotgun-toting officers were not far behind.

“There were three policemen with shotguns. As I ran into my house, right beside the pool was the bear,” one man said.

Finally, the bruin was cornered in a back yard and tranquillized and tagged.

Natural Resources officials will transport him to the northern bush where he’ll be released.

While some people where excited by the day’s events, others felt sorry for the bear — especially when they saw him drugged and caged.

“You know, this is just one more sign, I think, that we’re destroying their habitat,” a woman said.

With a report from CTV’s Janice Golding

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