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Lac La Biche bear finds new home in Lakeland Recreation Area

Officials safely capture and relocate animal

Lac La Biche - A bear that was first spotted near boats and quads in the fenced compound of a downtown Lac La Biche sporting goods store, before it climbed a nearby tree, has been moved to a much larger and more appropriate recreation area.

Fish and Wildlife and Alberta Conservation Officers, with the help of municipal peace officers and RCMP, managed to safely trap the animal and release it into a remote area near Seibert Lake.

The officers had a busy day ... so did the bear. After being spooked from  the Lac La Biche Sporting Goods outdoor compound, the bear ran across Main Street and climbed up a tree on a vacant residential lot just east of the La Biche Inn. The bear remained in the tree for about six hours. 

Onlookers watched from a nearby sidewalk and a steady stream of motorists slowly drove past the scene as officials secured a net made of tarps under the tree before successfully tranquilizing the animal. At around five that afternoon, the bear fell from its perch about 20 feet above the ground and landed safely in the net, says Conservation Officer Brad Semeniuk.

The bear was loaded into a live bear trap and taken to the local Alberta Parks warehouse where the animal was tagged, sprayed down with water to keep it cool, and administered a reversal drug to wake it. When the bear awoke a short time later, it was transported in the live bear trap by Semeniuk and a peace officer to a wooded area in the Lakeland Provincial Recreation about 60 kilometres from downtown Lac La Biche.

Semeniuk tells LakelandToday that the bear suffered no obvious ill-effects of his day in town. The animal quickly ran from the trap when it opened and disappeared into the forest.

"He didn't hang around," said Semeniuk, explaining that the end result of the day's events was the best possible scenario with no human or animal life harmed.

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