Greater Sudbury Police Services faced some backlash after shooting an injured cub that was hit by a car.
The woman who found the cub called 911 and police arrived. After assessing the situation, the bear was gravely injured and had been in pain for more than 40 minutes. In a compassionate manner, they decided to end the cub’s suffering. Rod Jouppi, President of Wild at Heart – a wildlife refuge located in Lively, said:
“We do not have a vehicle to respond to or transport injured wildlife as we do the best we can with very limited funds. In turn, the burden falls upon local Police Services who do not have the training nor the proper equipment or vehicles to safely handle and transport wildlife. Police services are often caught in a bad situation. Officers are expected to respond to an unsafe situation with people and traffic involved and in this case an injured unpredictable bear. The Officer must make a decision in the field without backup. Shooting a bear in the head is a preferred method of euthanasia according to the American Veterinary Medical Association the world’s foremost authority in Veterinary Medicine. These shots may not result in sudden death because of field issues including vehicle traffic and the presence people in the background. The process of dying may not be instantaneous. In relation to this matter, I believe the Officer’s decision and actions were the best choice in a bad situation.”
The City of Greater Sudbury does not rescue or rehabilitate injured wild animals, but there are organizations, like Wild at Heart, that can help.
Some things to remember if you come across an injured animal:
If you see an injured animal, your safety is of the utmost concern – do not do anything you’re not comfortable with or that might put you at risk. Wild at Heart does not recommend attempting to handle any of the following animals: adult rodents, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, loons, bears, and herons.
If you can, confine the animal to a cardboard box in a warm, quiet place. Remember: wild animals find it stressful to be around humans. Even if they’re injured, they will try to appear as strong as possible so as not to show weakness to predators (you). They will be most comfortable when left alone.
Do not give the animal anything to eat or drink, it could harm their health.
Call Wild at Heart at (705) 692-4478.
For more information about injured wildlife, click here.