UPDATE: ByWard Market Bear relocated to Lanark

The small black bear that kept a section of the ByWard Market locked down Thursday morning has been taken back to the wild.

The bear wandered into the market overnight. Ottawa Police say calls started coming in at around 3:45 a.m. A short while later, the bear climbed up a tree in a back yard off of St. Patrick St.

Police closed down St. Patrick St. and Murray St. between Dalhousie St. and Parent Ave. for several hours while Ottawa Police, NCC conservation, and Ministry of Natural Resources officers surrounded the tree.

Ottawa Police Duty Insp. Glen Wasson told reporters the initial plan was to shoot the bear with a tranquilizer dart and catch it in a net below the tree, but the little bear had other plans.

“It took probably five to eight minutes for the bear to settle down, but it settled down a branch in the tree, with its arms around the tree and fell asleep,” he said.

Firefighters were called to bring a ladder to help get the bear down.

“We waited a little while to see if it was coming down and clearly wasn’t coming down so we used another tranquilizer dart … secured it with a rope and lowered the bear safely to the ground,” Wasson said.

Once it was on the ground, it was placed in a net and taken by several officers to a cage attached to an NCC vehicle.

As they were putting it in the cage, however, there was a bit of commotion.

“It appeared to be, as the officers were pushing the bear into the back of the cage, it did seem to wake up but it was very brief,” Wasson said. “No one was at risk.”

The bear’s ear was tagged by NCC conservation officers and released into the wild. The tag will let hunters know the bear had been recently tranquilized.

No one–including the bear–was hurt.

It has since been released into the wild in the Lanark area.

How it got so far into the city core remains a mystery.