Bear Shot Dead Downtown


What was described as a ” thin, scared young bear” by bystanders was shot dead yesterday in the downtown area. The encounter was videoed by a local website and posted on facebook.

The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service received a call regarding a bear roaming the downtown area in the late afternoon on June 11th, 2019. Officers responded, and ushered the bear from the area.

Later, Police responded to another call about a bear in the downtown and were able to contain the animal to an enclosed area by repeatedly encouraging it to remain behind a dumpster.

Police contacted the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to request a Bear Technician attend the scene. While waiting for the Ministry Technician to attend, a crowd gathered in the area, and the bear attempted to leave the area.

Repeated attempts by officers to guide the animal back behind the dumpster were ignored by the bear and it became agitated.

Concerned about how the animal may react to the growing crowd if it broke through the police containment area, unfortunately no other option was available but to put the animal down. The City Board of Works collected the bear afterwards.

This unfortunate situation serves as a reminder to the public that if you see a wild animal roaming in the city do not approach or gather near it. For further information regarding how to deal with a bear encounter please reference the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s Bear Wise page.


  1. The reason it got shot is because the Mnr won’t tranquilize a bear unless it’s treed and all the police have is guns… at least no people got hurt

  2. So pissed at how this was handled. It’s amazing how a poor young lost bear was not tranquillized and relocated. I can’t accept any excuse for this barbaric shooting. I hope you all involed are haunted with this murder. You should be ashamed, this could have been handled with a wonderful ending. But, oh no just another disappointment in SSM. Disgusting!

  3. I live here. The mnr are pathetic. That bear probably grew up at the dump 5 km away. I figure it just got lost. Our town has a cage, Has tranquilizers, has the man power. I appalled they would handle it like they did. But in not superseded…

  4. Makes me wonder what happened to the moose last week ..
    The wildlife had their habitate taken away for the windmills..i live in the country and see the difference they made …wildlife have moved down and are seem more frequently ..
    Good job Humans

  5. Lmfao when I saw yesterday that there was a bear in our downtown. I was like why haven’t the police shut this bear yet. Today I see that the bear is finally shut. After last spring and all the bear attacks. Its about d#%$ time the city police take action. Thank Sault Ste Marie Police for finally protecting our citizens of this city from more bear attacks. Even though the tree huggers don’t like it much.

  6. All you people that were there surrounding this scared lost bear are the ones to blame for this. Good job. Hope all the pictures you took for Facebook were worth this bear’s life!!!

  7. Just like our policeman in Sault Ste Marie. I guess it was an excuse to kill him rather than tranquilizing him because they didn’t want the paperwork. How discusting

  8. I understand that everyone is blaming the crowd but when we drove by, there was no crowd and the officers had 2 vehicles boxing the animal in and one officer had a long gun. Reading other comments, others there after me stated that there were some onlookers in the parking lot watching but noone was near the officers. Who is going to crowd an officer with a rifle drawn? Why not just direct those in the parking lot to leave and close off/secure the area until mnr arrives?

  9. The people that crowded around this bear are just as guilty as the police that shot the bear. These are wild animals and we have already occupied more than enough of their environment. This poor baby bear did not deserve to die. The police should have done their job and controlled the crowd, and left the mnr to do their job to relocate the bear to a safe place. Everyone of those people there today should be ashamed.

  10. There you go all you people asking where the officials were it’s common knowledge if enough ppl complain they consider the bear to have been domesticated by the people . Every time you call about a bear it gets shot dead same here in B.C.

  11. really!that was the only solution for this basically lost animal. all the parties that were involved made a difficult decision. when faced public safety or the life of a cornered bear .We all know that there are more and more incidents of bears in neighborhoods perhaps the officials should be better equip to handle them without destroying them . sad out come!!

  12. OMG do better Sault Ste Marie…what a shame. You should be real proud of yourselves those in charge and thought this was a good idea!! Not enough money for a tranquilizer? Pathetic.

  13. So sad that people don’t know enough to leave the bear alone, it’s looking for food the mnr would of been able to move it into a safe location if people would of left the poor thing alone.

  14. Don’t blame city Police. They were just doing their job. Where was the Ministry? Waste of tax dollars. It’s their fault and also the stupid crowd that formed to agitate the poor creature. Shame on you all.

  15. They wouldn’t need to shoot the poor animal if people minded there own effing business and didn’t form a crowd around a scared wind animal,

  16. its the people’s crowding that did this.. not the containment. They were waiting for someone from the wildlife place to come but people kept trying to get near the bear, thus aggravating him/her. People still to this day are still so stupid when it comes to wildlife. At the end of the day, humans are far more dangerous than any animal on the planet and yesterday proved that.

    • Dude, while this may be the case down south, it is not so in SSM. We are basically in the middle of nowhere. The bears are an issue out in Goulais too. They like easy food.

  17. The MNR is far too slow responding to these calls so the police have to shoot them before someone gets hurt.

  18. They tried to contain a wild bear what are they f****** morons seriously it’s a wild animal what were you expected it to do I can’t get over this I’m so pissed right now

    • We drove by and there was no crowd. Others also commented that there were some onlookers in the parking lot. Why not just direct them to leave and secure the area until the mnr could arrive?

  19. If people learned to piss off especially when a wild animal is involved! It’s common sense! This bear could/may have been able to get rehomed but due to lack of common sense the poor bear had to die!

    • no such thing as common sense… it’s now Lack of Sense… yeah I know… I swear (most of the time) Humans are the stupidest creature ever…. bear was fine until some one got all snowflakey and police were called in… but I could rant about this for hours… so sad pisses me right off!

  20. He should never have been shot but tranquilizer and relocated. MNR should have been called. He was very hungry, how would you like it if someone shot you for wandering looking for food. So sad! 😡🤬

    • And people where crowding in to see the bear. So it was becoming dangerous.

      If people had some else better to do them stand around watching the bear, it wouldn’t have happend

    • Relocating is rarely effective. Bears have been know to travel over 100 km to return to their home range, and get out of other bear’s territory.

  21. Were the natural resources moving quick enough on tbe call tk prevent the situation? It does not found like it just the police being heros with the guns

  22. C’mon you northerners… option?? You’re joking right? …bait, sedate, & relocate! I’m ashamed of my fellow northerners responsible for this

  23. Isnt the Ministry close to downtown? Wish they could have got there in time to tranquilize the bear. Im sure it was not easy for the police to have to put this animal down. 😢

  24. absolutely disappointing, we should know by now that this type of thing happens all the time in the spring/summer, we should be prepared with the appropriate equipment to sedate and relocate these poor creatures. Nice job Sault Ste Marie.

  25. We had a bear in our oak tree in a very busy area. Police were called by neighbors, they wanted to shoot it but we wouldn’t let them. The MNR was called and they tranquilized and relocated.

  26. This angers me . We keep taking rhei territory from them to build houses and businesses..and when rhey are lost and wandering we just shoot them.? Why not tranquilize?
    All the people surrounding it just made it worse 🤨

  27. I don`t believe there was no other option than to kill the bear. They could have tranquilized it . AND they could have got the people away so the bear wasn`t “àgitated” . I would like to know why this wasn’t done. It says something about humans that we kill any animal because “it’s a nuisance”. Had the bear been violent and going after people things would be different but this poor hungry bear wasn’t interested in attacking anyone. he was just hungry, This makes me sad and angry

  28. They should have tranquilized it. But if they hadn’t done this and the bear had mauled someone in the crowd, people would be screaming about why they hadn’t put it down. Sometimes, you can’t win.

  29. They tranquilized one last yr around same area…no reason they couldnt have done it this time…I’m guessing to many rubberneckers and became a risk to the public….just sick

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