Black bear killed after blueberry picker found dead in northern Ontario
A black bear is pictured on May 27, 2012. (Nathan Denette / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
SUDBURY -- Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) said a 67-year-old man was found dead in an area where he went to pick blueberries and a black bear that was seen in the vicinity of the man's body was shot and killed by officers.
The man left his home in Red Lake, in northwestern Ontario, early Monday morning to pick blueberries on Tuzyk Road off Highway 105 between his hometown and Township of Ear Falls, OPP said in a news release Tuesday.
When the man didn't return home, police were called.
Two local OPP detachments along with the emergency response team found the man dead.
"A black bear was located in the vicinity of the deceased and was dispatched by officers," said OPP.
Const. Joel Eppinghaus is the court officer for OPP's Red Lake and Pikangikum detachments.
"We cannot confirm that the male was deceased due to the bear or some other cause – this is still under investigation and the true cause of death right now is uncertain," said Eppinghaus.
He told CTV News in an email he cannot disclose any information in regards to the man's injuries.
"This incident as a whole, is very rare and we do not have records of any bear attacks in that area," said Eppinghaus. "Although the area is a very popular blueberry picking area."
Police said the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry have been contacted and the bear's remains will be sent to Guelph for testing.
"We are reminding people to be aware of their surroundings when outdoors," said OPP. "If a bear poses an immediate threat to public safety by exhibiting threatening or aggressive behaviour, call 911 or your local police."