Bear family lingering around Chelsea, Que., homes
A black bear and three cubs have been hanging out in yards outside homes in Chelsea, Que., for several weeks, causing both excitement and concern from residents over the animals’ bold behaviour.
Lee Adrian has seen many deer in the 20 years she has lived on a one-acre lot on St. Clément Road, east of Gatineau Park, but this was the first time she has seen bears in her yard, snacking on her chokecherry tree.
“In the morning when I leave for work … I’m a little afraid, maybe, they might [attack] in case I come between mommy and the babies. Other than that, it’s just so nice to see them,” she said. “They’re so cute.”
The bears have also been seen in yards along nearby Carman Road. The bears would have to cross Highway 105, then Highway 5 to reach Gatineau Park.
“I think they can’t figure out how to get back in Gatineau Park,” Adrian said.
“If I could get an apple trail to show them how to get over the bridge to get into Gatineau Park again, they’d be able to go back to enjoying their other home.”
Leila Bates, who has been living on Carman Road for 60 years, said she was excited to see the bears in her yard but concerned when she saw two cubs in a ditch near the highway late Saturday night.
“It was dark, dark, dark,” she said. “I thought, ‘Oh, please go away. We love you. We want you to survive.'”
Bates added that she is worried someone might shoot the mother bear out of fear, leaving the cubs as orphans.
“I just hope nobody gets trigger-happy. They’re so beautiful,” she said.
Toppled-over garbage cans and damaged bird feeders are evidence that the bears are making themselves at home outside of Gatineau Park for now, Adrian said.
She added that humans have been getting along with the bears so far — for the most part.
“They love the bird feeders and I’m getting mad at them, saying, ‘You have this cherry tree, there’s apple trees around the property. Leave the bird feeders alone.’ But other than that, I haven’t heard of any bad incidents, thank goodness,” Adrian said.