It’s like a scene from Black Hawk Down, for heaven’s sake. The thwack of helicopter rotors vibrates the dull morning air, shaking the skittish mourning doves from the giant blue spruce in the backyard. The skinny bee-bodied aircraft swing back and forth as if they’re on a wire, crossing Yonge Street north and south of Davis Drive in search of an elusive black bear that’s been roaming the Newmarket and Holland Landing neighbourhoods for the last few days. Um, excuse me, but that’s a huge area. Maybe people are seeing large dogs. Perhaps it’s a posse of rogue bear campers who’ve broken away from their school tour.

York Regional Police are on scene (as they should be) and a breathless news reader just said that the Emergency Response Team (ERU) is on site with ‘big guns’.


The YRP Communications Centre lines must be burning up with all the ‘sightings’. And I can imagine how commuters are fuming as their routes into work are clogged with emergency vehicles and road closures. Mind you, Davis Drive has been an almost impassable nightmare of construction for years, so that should be nothing new.

Residents have been warned not to approach the animal, which is probably hungry and tired and very grumpy. Bring in your pets and food! Lock your doors. Secure your garbage bins. City Panic 24 urges – do not feed it, do not stare into its eyes, don’t climb a tree, throw objects at it, blow a loud whistle. Instead, there are idiots out there with their cell phones taking pictures and uploading to the perpetual news sites, hoping for their 2 minutes of notoriety.

But – get this – 15 minutes into writing this post nothing is happening and it’s so bloody boring, the CP24 camera is focused on two white MNR vehicles and the front of a house, alternating with carnival-ride swing shots of weedy lawns, treetops and clots of stupid gawkers standing around shivering. What a sad commentary on the hunger for something – anything – to happen. Oh look, little Courtney is off to school. What’s that in your backpack, kid? Processed meat and crackers, red licorice and a cupcake – the horror.


Once the Ministry of Natural resources boffins arrive, someone will either throw a net over the poor animal or shoot it with a tranquilizer dart and it will plunge to the ground. Then, no doubt, some over-zealous animal rights nuts will leap out from behind the tree trunks and complain the capture could have been handled more humanely. People – this is a city of 85,000, not Algonquin Park.

All the sad bear wants to do is go home and graze and frighten stupid urban campers who wander into his den. Maybe he ran away from home because his dad wouldn’t let him play the forest equivalent of x-Box. Hopefully it’s not a mother bear searching for food so she can nurse her cubs. How will they find out where the bear came from? They usually don’t carry I.D.


Run, Teddy, run! On the positive side (and isn’t it awful to say that?), it’s not a stabbing/bus bomb/kidnapping/beheading/car crash. Nevertheless, it’ll be all over the news tonight.

Epilogue: the bear was fatally shot. Damn. He was climbing down the tree towards the police officers. Well, the newsies got a story with no happy ending. MNR has just backed up a truck with a green mesh trailer to remove the carcase. When worlds collide. Sad.