Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
A sleepy standoff took place in Charleswood Saturday after police and Manitoba Conservation officers responded to a black bear sighting in the neighbourhood.
Just before 10:30 a.m., Winnipeg Police tweeted that a bear had been located on Pepperloaf Crescent near Rannock Avenue and advised residents to avoid the area.
When the Free Press arrived on the scene the bear had made its way up a tree on a property at the corner of Pepperloaf and Dunelm Lane. Police cruisers were blocking the road and bicycle patrol officers were busy redirecting people eager to bear witness to the activity happening in the neighbourhood.
Resident Tyler Walsh saw the bear running down a walking path behind his home on Rannock while he was drying dishes Saturday morning.
"The bear was literally running down the path from west to east, so I sort of took a second, shook my head and closed my eyes," he said. "I reopened them and he was still going."
Walsh has lived in Charleswood for 14 years and has never seen this particular species of wildlife in the community.
"I’ve seen lots of deer, every day I see deer, but never a bear," he said, laughing.
The pyjama-clad family jumped in their car to try and follow the animal, which Walsh dubbed Charlie the Bear in tweets about the incident. By the time they caught up with Charlie, the bear had scaled a tree, where it remained for the better part of the day — shifting position every so often while conservation officers waited on the driveway below with a large red bear trap. A WPS officer was also on scene carrying what looked like a large rifle.
John Armatas lives on Pepperloaf and came home from work after a neighbour told him there was bear on the street.
"I wanted to come home to make sure my garages were closed," Armatas said. "I had a barbecue last night so I didn’t want... that guy to go eating up my yard."
Jackie Fritz has lived in Charleswood her whole life and has seen coyotes in the neighbourhood, but never a black bear.
"It’s a little bit nerve-racking, we don’t typically see dangerous wildlife," she said.
Fritz ventured from her home up the street in pyjama bottoms to get a closer look and was happy to see authorities managing the situation.
"I’m glad they’re here because it makes me feel better to see that kind of a presence," she said. "I hope that they can get the bear down without having to injure it or kill it."
The Free Press left the scene at about 1 p.m., but the bear was still in its tall leafy hideout at 7 p.m. City police gave way to conservation officers in the evening who were waiting for the animal to descend from its perch.
Eva Wasney is a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press.
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Updated on Saturday, May 30, 2020 at 7:53 PM CDT: Updated
11:10 PM: Edited