Advertisement

Mountie in red serge chasing black bear from Waterton campground captured on video

Click to play video: 'Truly Canadian: Mountie wearing iconic red serge chases bear' Truly Canadian: Mountie wearing iconic red serge chases bear
WATCH: Damian Gillis captured this iconic Canadian footage in Waterton Lakes National Park of a Mountie in full red serge chasing a small black bear out of town – Jul 25, 2017

Campers and residents of Waterton were treated to a rare sight Monday, after a young black bear was chased from the town by an RCMP officer clad in his red serge.

Damian Gillis said he and his family were relaxing in their campsite at the Townsite Campground at about 5 p.m. when they heard a commotion and passersby talking about a bear in town. When they followed the group of people gathering on the street, they saw the beginnings of an exciting bear chase.

“There was quite a commotion with the Parks [Canada] officials and the RCMP there and they had a bear up a tree in behind one of the houses,” Gillis told Global News.

He said there were about four Parks Canada officials as well as the RCMP officer, who was dressed in his traditional red serge — making the moment even more memorable. They were trying to haze the bear out of town.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Quick-thinking drivers save cyclist from possible bear attack on B.C. highway

Gillis said he ran back to get his camera, knowing he had to capture the moment the bear came out of the tree.

“You never see a police officer in red serge with a black bear in the background,” he said.

“Sort of the old image of the police officer going through the wilderness in his red serge uniform and there’s a wild bear in the background.”

WATCH: A camper at the Waterton Townsite campground captured video of a young black bear being chased from town by an RCMP officer clad in his red serge. Quinn Campbell reports

Click to play video: 'Mountie in red serge chasing black bear from Waterton campground captured on video' Mountie in red serge chasing black bear from Waterton campground captured on video
Mountie in red serge chasing black bear from Waterton campground captured on video – Jul 25, 2017

The RCMP officer involved in the chase said there were hundreds of spectators crowded around as he and the Parks Canada staff tried to direct the bear out of town. He agrees the red uniform added to the allure.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: ‘Incredibly beautiful’ white-phase black bear caught on camera in Kananaskis Country

“A lot of tourists,” Sgt. Clayton Wilbern said. “They were getting very excited, they were like, ‘Oh wow, I came to Waterton to see a Mountie and a bear and I’ve got both!'”

“This was the closest I’ve ever been, and this was just a baby bear, so it was pretty cool.”

Hazing bears a teaching technique

Hazing bears is a way of teaching bears they can’t come into towns, according to Parks Canada official Dennis Madsen. He said staff will use several techniques like making loud noises, clapping hands, using noisemakers and chalkball guns to shoo them.

READ MORE: Bear safety tips – what to do if you spot a bear

“If you put a lot of pressure on a bear it’ll just run up in a tree and hide and feel safe up there and then it won’t go anywhere,” Madsen said.

“When a bear comes down from a tree and moves, they move quickly so you have to keep up with the bear and that’s what [the Mountie] is doing in the video.”
Story continues below advertisement

The young bear was likely recently weaned from its mother, Madsen said, and has been spotted around the town a few times this year.

Madsen said it’s common to see Mounties in Waterton dressed in their red serge chatting with visitors — but he admitted it’s very rare to see one chasing a bear through town.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia advises how to avoid black bears showing up on properties

Gillis said Waterton Lakes National Park is his family’s favourite park and this isn’t the family’s first encounter with a bear in the area. Last year, his 13-year-old daughter came face-to-face with a black bear on a hiking trail near the campground.

Parks Canada is using the Mountie bear chase to remind people to keep their distance from wildlife while in national parks and to avoid feeding any wild animals that may be looking for an easy bite to eat.

Sponsored content