Bears killed as people try to clean up Jean Marie River

A number of bears have been killed after they became “aggressive to people and property” in Jean Marie River, where residents are beginning the long recovery from days of flooding.

Officers from the NWT’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources killed “several bears” in recent days, a spokesperson for the department confirmed to Cabin Radio on Tuesday.

The bears are being attracted by unattended food following the flood and the community’s garbage dump, spokesperson Mike Westwick said by email.


Department officers are now “taking deterrence measures” to keep bears away from the dump and people, Westwick wrote. Those measures include patrols of the community.

More broadly, Westwick said the department had seen “unusual amounts of bear activity” in many NWT communities, not just Jean Marie River.

He said taking precautions against a bear encounter was “more important than ever.”