OTTAWA: The Canadian capital Ottawa was thrown into confusion early Thursday as police closed in on a bear spotted roaming the streets just a stone’s throw from the parliament building.
The black bear was first sighted by bypasses overnight near the city’s Byward Market, a tourist spot that is also home to the US embassy.
They alerted police who sealed off the area and called on residents to stay in their homes as they tracked the animal, which was quickly nicknamed Byward Bear on social media. One user even created the @Bywardbear Twitter handle for the wild animal.
The bear took shelter from its pursuers in a tree in a small park at around 9 am, as a police closure of the area disrupted morning commuters. Pictures on social media showed forest service officials tranquilizing the bear and removing it from the city.
“The bearicade is over and roads will reopen shortly,” Ottawa police said on Twitter.
Local media said the creature, which had been identified as a young male, would be tagged and released into the wild.
It was the second incident involving a bear loose in the capital in a 24 hour period, CBC television reported. Another black bear was spotted early Wednesday near the hospital of Gatineau, a French-speaking suburb, before making off into the forest again.
Eastern Canada’s black bears and are smaller and less aggressive than the grizzlies found in the west or the polar bears that live in the far north.–AFP