Conservation officers search for a black bear in the Riverdale area in Whitehorse on Sep. 17, 2020. A bear that Yukon conservation officers were tracking in the Kathleen Lake area was euthanized on Dec. 31. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Conservation officers search for a black bear in the Riverdale area in Whitehorse on Sep. 17, 2020. A bear that Yukon conservation officers were tracking in the Kathleen Lake area was euthanized on Dec. 31. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Kathleen Lake bear euthanized

A bear that Yukon conservation officers were tracking in the Kathleen Lake area has been euthanized.

In a post on the Yukon Conservation Officer Services Facebook page, it was noted the bear was euthanized Dec. 31.

Environment Yukon spokesperson Diana Dryburgh-Moraal stated in an email correspondence the bear was very old, emaciated and in poor health.

“Together, these three factors likely caused the bear to be out of its den in cold temperatures attempting to find a food source to survive,” she said. “The bear was traveling the Haines Road and had frequented the area around several residences.”

Before being spotted on the highway, the bear had been seen on a trapline where it had injured its paws attempting to get bait from the traps.

“Winter grizzlies in poor condition pose a significant public safety risk,” Dryburgh-Moraal noted.

There is no longer an advisory to stay away from Kathleen Lake, but Yukoners are reminded that bears may be active year-round and bears like this one, that are in poor health, may be dangerous.

“Make sure to manage your attractants and carry bear spray while recreating outdoors,” reads the post.

The bear had first been noticed in the area Dec. 19 with a warning to avoid the area then issued.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

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