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‘Byron Bear’ rescued from tree in London Ont., to return to wild next week

Click to play video '‘Byron’ bear munching on snack at sanctuary' ‘Byron’ bear munching on snack at sanctuary
WATCH: Byron Bear munching on a snack at sanctuary (Video: Bear With Us Sanctuary) – Jul 11, 2020

The black bear that was rescued up in a tree in the west end of London Ont., in June is set to be released into the wild in just a few days.

Mike McIntosh, the founder of Bear With Us Sanctuary in Sprucedale, Ont., spoke with 980 CFPL’s Jess Brady on 980 CFPL’s Afternoon Show Friday.

“We’re delighted to say that [London Bear] is doing extremely well, and he’s going to be a free, wild bear in a matter of days.”
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Read more: Black bear found in west London, Ont., will return to wild: sanctuary

London Bear, also known as Byron Bear, was first spotted on June 8 in the area of Oxford Street West, near the bridge west of Sanatorium Road.

The bear climbed up a tree and was tranquilized by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) team and a veterinarian.

London Bear was then taken to the sanctuary, where the vet gave him a 20 per cent survival rate due to an infection he had after having been shot.

Read more: Police warn public after black bear found in west London

Three weeks later, veterinarian Dr. Sherri Cox checked his wounds again, and said his infections have healed well.

“The vet put one more stitch in, and she said within a few days, he’ll be healed up completely, and he can go free,” said McIntosh.

“He was very close to not making it at all, so to have him do this turnaround is quite a thrill.”

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Peterborough and area sees spike in black bear sightings – Jun 18, 2020

London Bear’s exact release location has not yet been determined.

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“We’re working with the Ontario of Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry people as far as the exact location, but we’re going to keep him [far away] from London,” McIntosh explained.

He says the release will be quick, but the travel will take some time.

Read more: Black bear seen roaming streets of Markham neighbourhood

“To get him to the area, we have to put him in a travel crate, load him onto the truck, and it could be very hot so we’re going to do this early in the morning, [and] take him for a drive.”
“We’ll open the gate and he’ll run like a deer, but to make sure he knows that people aren’t always friendly, we’re going to make some noises and try to scare [him] so he keeps on going for a while,” said McIntosh.

London Bear is set to be released within the upcoming week.

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