Ministry did not consider zoos for Dorval black bear

The death of "Dorval," the young black bear that made headlines when it arrived in the West Island city on Sunday, has left many wondering why it was not taken to a shelter or zoo instead of being euthanized.

"The possibility of relocating the bear to a zoo was not considered," said the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks in a statement Tuesday.

Officials defended their decision to euthanize the bear saying the main purpose of a shelter is to rehabilitate an animal. But their assessment found the bear was no longer afraid of humans and could therefore pose a risk to human safety if it was released back into the wild.

The Ministry added the bear would need a large home to be comfortable, which it said made relocating to a zoo not an option.

"Life in captivity is not an optimal solution for these animals and could seriously affect their well-being."

Not only were citizens outraged by the decision, but so was the team who were called in to rescue the bear in the first place.

The crew with Sauvetage Animal Rescue helped tranquilize the bear and place it in a cage with the belief it would be transported to another location for release. The group said they had even contacted several shelters that could have welcomed the animal if releasing into the wild was not an option. 

"We were not contacted by the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks to indicate that another decision had been made," the group said.

The animal rescue team said the decision to euthanize the young bear was shocking and like a knife in the back.

A petition calling for Pierre Dufour, Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, to resign was created following the news of the bear's killing.

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