It's couldn't be Barkley ... could it? Nahhhh ... but then again, maybe.
A male black bear, estimated to be 3 or 4 years old and weighing approximately 200 to 250 pounds was spotted in Abbotsford, B.C., chased up a tree, tranquilized and then rescued by local firefighters near Abbotsford Middle School on Saturday, according to a story that appeared in The Abbotsford News.
Let's see — Abbottsford is less than 25 miles away from north Bellingham, as a bear wanders, so there's a chance — just a chance — that this could be the mischievous, suet-loving, backyard pool-swimming bruin that delighted many residents in the northeast neighborhoods of Bellingham last summer, earning the nickname "Barkley."
The age would be about right. The friendly nature — or at least his lack of fear of humans — definitely seems to match.
Don't tell us Barkley went Canadian, eh!
The Abbotsford bear, whether it is Barkley or not, was first spotted on Friday night in the Glen Mountain area of town, according to The Abbotsford News. Animal control couldn't get him corralled — hey, Barkley was an escape artist, too — and then he was spotted near a recreation center Saturday morning.
Police were able to chase the bear up a tree, according to a cbc.ca story about the incident. The bear was tranquilized, before firefighters used a ladder truck and ropes to haul him back down so that he could be relocated to a safer place.
"Just another day at the office," tweeted Abbotsford police patrol supervisor Rick Stewart. "Found this fella wandering around town. My crew managed to tree him until Conservation arrived and hit him with a tranquilizer. Abby Fire got him down and off he went to his new home somewhere east of Harrison."
The video of the rescue is must-see.
But it was not the only video involving a black bear to emerge from southwestern British Columbia over the weekend.
Jamie Stein spotted a black bear while skiing down the Crystal Glide run on Blackcomb Mountain on Sunday, according to a story by the Vancouver Sun.
For some reason, he thought it would be fun to ski close to the bear to get a good video — you know, whatever gets you some likes on social media. But Stein ended up getting more than he expected.
As he got closer, he realized the bear was not alone. It turned out to be a mother with two young cubs in tow. Mama Bear was none too pleased to see a skier speeding by her young ones, and she turned and took a defensive stance and gave the skier that "don't mess with me" look, showing she meant business before making a move at Stein.
“I’ve seen a lot of bears up here but that’s the first time I’ve ever seen a bear look at me like that,” Stein told the Sun. “I started to record, and when she made that move towards me I thought ‘OK time to book it.' ... It's good I can ski quickly.”
While not skiing toward a bear and her cubs seems like pretty obvious way to avoid running into a bear, state Fish and Wildlife game warden Dave Jones advises Whatcom County residents to take down their bird feeders to avoid attracting them to their backyards.
Other steps to take for safety in bear country, which is much of Whatcom County, include:
▪ Keep your garbage indoors until just before your pick-up service arrives.
▪ Clean your grill when you're done using it.
▪ Keep pet food indoors. It's a good idea to keep your pets inside at night, too.