On May 14, the public was warned about a bear and a cub in the Lagoon Road area of Hay River.

Since then, there have been some online questions about what happened to the animals.

The bears have apparently safely departed the area without any incident.

The advisory was issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR), which recommended that people stay away from the area so the bears could be captured and relocated before they became a problem.

Brad McInnes, a renewable resource officer with ENR, said the sow and cub have moved on.

“They didn’t get into any garbage, which is good,” he said. “They just followed the riverbank and they left town.”

McInnes set up a trap to try to capture the bears, along with erecting a warning sign that there were bears in the area.

“There was a trap set back there, so whenever we set a trap we put these signs up,” he said. “We don’t want people going around the trap. It could be dangerous. And just to warn people that there was a bear spotted in the area.”

The sign has since been taken down.

McInnes advised people to properly handle their garbage to decrease the risk from bears.

“When a bear is coming through town, they follow the river. There’s a lot of food for them to eat,” he said. “And they’ll come up the bank, and if they don’t get rewarded with any garbage or anything like that, they’ll just carry on. The reason they stick around is because people leave their garbage out and they get into garbage, and they love garbage. So that’s the problem. That’s the main attractant.”

People should not put their garbage out for pickup the day before garbage day to avoid attracting bears, he added. “Put it out the morning of, because they really love that stuff.”

McInnes also advised community residents that, if they see a bear, to call the emergency wildlife line immediately at 875-7640.

“Don’t wait an hour. Don’t call the next day,” he said. “Call right now. Because we’re on call and we can get there within a couple of minutes.”

As of late last week, McInnes noted ENR is aware of only one other bear that had been spotted in Hay River so far this spring.

That bear on Cranberry Crescent also didn’t get into any garbage and moved out of the community.

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