Bear sighting shuts down portion of Saint John's Irving Nature Park

A portion of the Irving Nature Park in Saint John, N.B., remained closed Monday due to ongoing attempts to capture a bear.

The Saint John Police Force evacuated the park’s Children’s Forest area around 2 p.m. Sunday following reports of a bear sighting.

All other areas of the Irving Nature Park remain open.

An advisory about the Children’s Forest closure was posted on social media, and a gate was closed preventing vehicles from entering the area.

However, a few people who were unaware of the restrictions entered the area by foot on Monday. They were told to leave the area by park staff and J.D. Irving said signage would be posted around the restricted portion.

A live bear trap was placed near the area’s playground equipment on Sunday in an attempt to capture and relocate the animal.

New Brunswick’s Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development said a live bear trap is usually left for several days and nights before a capture is successful.

The Irving Nature Park’s social-media post said there were concerns about the bear's “recent behaviour of being in urban areas in the daytime and getting close to BBQs and people.”