Conservation officers were at a Coquitlam shopping mall on Friday afternoon to remove a trapped bear that got itself into a conundrum.
The young black bear became trapped in the underground parkade of Henderson Place Mall near Pinetree Way and Lincoln Avenue around 3:30 p.m.
The bear wandered around the parkade for a while. At one point it walked up to the gate of the garage and triggered the sensor that opens it.
Conservation officers were able to tranquilize the animal and remove it from the area by about 8 p.m.
Sgt. Todd Hunter with the Conservation Officer Service said the bear showed no signs of aggression. But he added that while officers were able to corral and tranquilize the bear, it took longer than usual for the drug to take effect.
“[There were] a number of factors, likely due to the heat and then the stress of the bear,” he said.
“An environment like that, it’s got no way out, has nowhere to go, the heat, [it] took a little bit longer.”
The bear was kept overnight for observation. On Saturday, it was determined to be healthy and released in an area away from humans.
Local officials have said there has been a decrease in the number of human-bear conflicts in Coquitlam following a crackdown on residents taking their trash out early.
Under the city’s bylaw, anyone who puts their bin out before 5:30 a.m. on pickup day could be slapped with a $500 fine.
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As of June, there had been four bears put down in Coquitlam this year.
— With files from Michelle Morton and Simon Little
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