Black bear causes morning chaos in downtown Ottawa | News | DW | 06.09.2018
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Black bear causes morning chaos in downtown Ottawa

Police have given the all-clear after black bear was spotted roaming the heart of the Canadian capital, Ottawa. Residents had been told to stay inside their homes until the animal was captured.

A North American black bear in captivity (picture-alliance/AP Photo/Houston Chronicle/M. Ciaglo)

Black bears, which live in Canada's east, are less aggressive than their western cousins the grizzlies

The bear was first seen in the early hours of Thursday at Ottawa's Byward Market, a popular tourist destination close to the national parliament building.

Police were alerted to the animal's presence just after 3 a.m. local time (0700 UTC/GMT), Canadian broadcaster CBC said, with the caller saying that the bear had been following people.

Officers sealed off nearby streets and urged residents to stay in their homes while they tracked the animal, which had taken shelter in a nearby tree.

According to journalist Keith Bonnell, from the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, police were keen to ensure nobody put themselves at risk.

"We know the curiosity can be unbearable, but please avoid the area and allow the area to be clear and calm to bring the bear to safety," police said.

The incident attracted attention on social media under the hashtag #BywardBear. Steve Warne, morning host at the radio station TSN 1200 Radio, tweeted a picture of the animal holed up in the branches.

Forest service officials tranquilized the bear and lowered it on a rope into a portable container, before taking it out of the city. Police gave the all-clear in a Twitter message, joking that the "bearicade" was over.

Local media said the animal would be tagged and released into the wild.

Read more: Hiking where you might meet bears

The incident was the second involving a bear on the loose in the capital within a 24-hour period, the AFP news agency reported. A black bear was also seen near a hospital in Gatineau, a French-speaking suburb, before making its way back into the forest.

The black bears of eastern Canada are smaller and less aggressive than grizzlies, which live in the west of the country.

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