July 11, 2014 1:00 pm

Bear chases man in La Ronge, Saskatchewan

Man chased by bear in northern Saskatchewan thankful to a couple and their dogs.

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LA RONGE, Sask. – A man says he was chased by a bear in a residential area in a northern Saskatchewan town.

Kevin Fontaine says he first noticed the animal peering out of some bushes in La Ronge before the bear charged him.

Fontaine says he doesn’t know how long the chase lasted, but the bear broke off the pursuit when a couple and their dogs came walking up the street.

He says conservation and RCMP officers responded after the couple called 911.

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Saskatchewan Environment says the bear was spotted shortly after Fontaine’s encounter with it, but it hasn’t been caught.

Conservation officers managed to catch another bear that was lurking around the city and they have also set a trap for the bear that chased Fontaine.

“While I was running, I could hear it right behind me going up the hill there. All those branches, and me going up the hill there. And I could just feel it right behind me, running, you could hear it. Going down the hill, I felt relieved because I met some people down there,” Fontaine said.

Officials with Saskatchewan Environment say this year’s cool spring weather may have contributed to the large number of bears showing up in town.

Daryl Minter with Saskatchewan Environment says the berry season is later than usual this year and bears are looking for food.

Minter says there have been many bear sightings in the town and in at least one case the animals were attracted to garbage.

“They had knocked over the garbage can and there was a large amount of rather ripe garbage that they were beginning to feed on before they got scared away and then another case it was dog food that the bear had got wind of and had gone in and was eating that.”

Minter says bird feeders also contain food for bears.

He says six bears have been live-trapped within the La Ronge this summer and all were relocated.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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