A bear bumbling through Burnaby's Brentwood neighbourhood on Thursday was spotted again near a gas station on Lougheed Highway, tranquilized, captured by conservation officers and relocated to Harrison Lake.
"It was unreal. It was a full day of chaos," said conservation officer Jack Trudgian. "We chased the bear all morning, couldn't get it, then it rested in the ravine for a few hours. Then at about quarter to five, I started getting calls of the bear being seen again."
This time the bruin was up a tree at the Chevron gas station on Lougheed Highway at Sperling. By the time Trudgian was on the scene, the bear had moved several blocks east to Ellerslie Avenue and Mario Court.
"It was just roaming through yards," Trudgian said. "Then a neighbour's dog scared it up a tree, and that's where it was when I got there."
Trudgian was first concerned about public safety and crowd control, as the bear had attracted a lot of people, including media. Trudgian loaded up a dart, tranquilized the bear and waited for it to fall from the tree, but the creature was stuck.
"It was sleeping with his tongue hanging out. He just fell asleep," Trudgian said. "It got caught between two branches."
Trudgian then climbed the tree, while RCMP members and another conservation officer held a tarp open below to break the bear's fall. Trudgian finally pulled the bear's paws free and unlodged its behind, and the bear fell to the ground. He then tagged the animal and took it to Harrison Lake.
While the bear's home was likely Burnaby Mountain, Trudgian said Harrison Lake is a good area for bears.
"They'll adapt to the environment," he said. "At least this way, we're not getting any more calls. ... It took us responding, the police responding - it took a lot of manpower."