According to Pictou resident Leroy Marshall, the bear gunned down by the local RCMP was only young. Marshall, an experienced woodsman according to an article in the Pictou County News, assessed the bear as around a year old and described him as “peaceful-like”.
Early Wednesday morning Marshall was pleasantly surprised to discover he had a visitor in his back yard – the young black bear had meandered into the neighbourhood from the woods nearby. Marshall reported that the bear didn’t appear to be aggressive and opined that most bears will not attack humans unless they’re feeling threatened by them and proving his point, the young bear just sat in the middle of Marshall’s back yard blissfully unaware of his imminent demise by gunshot.
As neighbours started learning of the bear in Marshall’s yard, more and more of the curious began to arrive. And then someone in a business nearby decided to call in the authorities which brought several members of the RCMP. Marshall’s back yard was getting quite crowded but the bear, no doubt was enjoying the sight of all those crazy humans in such an uproar over a one-year-old bear out for his morning constitutional.
So, what to do with the bear? Well since it was a potentially violent wild creature the RCMP decided to move all the onlookers out of Marshall’s back yard. By this time the bear, probably getting a tad nervous by all this frenetic activity, found a nice tree further back on the property and promptly climbed it. You can never be too sure about humans…sometimes they have a hair-trigger and a short fuse. Plus some of them have guns.
The RCMP now becoming increasingly concerned for the safety of the townspeople, put a call into the Department of Natural Resources to request a tranquilizer gun. Their intent was to sedate Junior and hopefully take him back to his forest home with the assistance of the very Department that is responsible for incidences just like this.
But alas, the nearest office of the government department responsible for Junior hiding in the nearby tree, couldn’t find one tranquilizer pellet. Not one. And because of the inept lack of response by the very department responsible for Junior’s safety, the one-year-old scared-into-a-tree bear paid for it with his life. The RCMP shot and killed Junior.
We demand to know why the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources did not have in their possession in Pictou County, one tranquilizer pellet that would have saved this young bear’s life.
According to their own website, “The Department of Natural Resources has broad responsibilities relative to the development, management, conservation and protection of forest, mineral, parks and wildlife resources and the administration of the province’s Crown land.” And yet they failed Junior. Miserably.
In a final act of bitter irony, Junior’s body was turned over to the very government department that failed the little guy.. the very department that touts itself as being responsible for the conservation and protection of wildlife.
One single tranquilizer pellet would have made all the difference in the world – at least to Junior.