“Dad, there’s a bear behind the Northern Store.”
That’s how Michael Cameron said he first became aware of the furry visitor that wandered into town.
Cameron, the wildlife warden of Salluit, Que., said he grabbed his rifle for protection and ran to the scene. When he approached the animal on the hillside, he noticed it was a “black moving object.”
No, it wasn’t a polar bear — what Cameron said he was expecting. Rather, it was a young black bear, about five feet long from nose to tail.
“We never had any black bear encounters this close to town,” Cameron said.
Salluit, one of the northernmost communities in the Nunavik region of Quebec, is far away from the treeline. So what was the black bear doing there?
“I have no clue,” Michael said. “[It’s] very strange.”
It was Cameron who shot and killed the bear — who was getting too close for comfort.
He said there was a big crowd of onlookers down by the Northern Store, just a few hundred feet from the black bear.
“I didn’t want it getting down below to where the children and people were watching,” Cameron said.
“Trying to think of public safety and all that, if we were able to scare it off, what would stop it from coming back a few hours later?”
Multiple reports of blacks bears
There have been other recent reports of black bear sightings in northern Quebec, according to Cameron.
“Another hunter eight kilometres from town spotted and also harvested a black bear while he was out fishing,” he said.
Cameron said the hunter shot the bear out of self-defence. The incident occurred five days prior to Cameron’s encounter.
He said there was also a recent sighting of a black bear in the community of Kangiqsujuaq.
“We’re not used to having…