‘I’m no scaredy cat!’


by Trevor Greenway on June 3, 2009


'You're cat meat if you come any closer to my house!' Minou fearlessly stalks 250lb black bear in Chelsea. Photo by Eric Leclair

'You're cat meat if you come any closer to my house!' Minou fearlessly stalks a 250lb black bear in Chelsea. Photo by Eric Leclair

June 3, 2009 – A small cat held the fort at its Chelsea, Quebec home while a large black bear rummaged through garbage before disappearing into the woods May 23.


As owner Eric Leclair put it, his cat Minou was “stalking” the large bear, staying approximately 40-50 feet away at all times, keeping an eye on the big boy’s activity.

“We just let him do his things, said Leclair referring to the bear. “He sniffed around the garbage and the compost and then he left.”

Leclair, who lives at 61 Muskoka Rd in Chelsea, said the bear is a lot larger than most he has come across in the past, sizing this one up at about 250 lbs.

“He is a very big, nonchalant bear.”

The bear showed up at around 10 a.m. and started clawing away at bird feeders at the house across the road. This is when Leclair’s cat caught wind of large visitor and began stealthily following it around the neighbour’s yard and eventually into Leclair’s yard. The cat never did end up doing anything, but kept a watchful eye over the entire situation.

Meanwhile, Leclair’s two boys, Simon and Corin were “bouncing off the walls,” inside the house, scared and excited at the same time that a wild and dangerous animal was roaming their back yard.

The bear eventually disappeared into the distance, with the fearless Minou escorting him out of the neighbourhood.

Leclair added that residents should be on the lookout for the large bear, as it is expected that the same creature has been spotted around Chelsea over the past couple of weeks and doesn’t appear that spooked by humans.

“You can bang pots and scream at him and he might move over 50 feet and then go about his business.”

If it is the same bear that has been spotted around Chelsea, then it isn’t afraid of humans by any means. Tim Joyce, along with his daughter, had to get escorted to his car by MRC des Collines Police on June 1, as a bear was roaming his property for most of the early morning. The bear is so desensitized to humans that it walked right up to Joyce’s house at 16 Keewatin Rd, put his paw on the building and peered into the window.

According to Michel Bergeron, spokesperson for the Ministry of Natural Resources wildlife protection services, the bear will be removed using a large cage, although a better solution exists.

“Just moving the bear to another area is not a solution,” he said. “The real solution for bear control is hunting.”

According to Bergeron, a cage catches only about one in every 20 bears, so it may be a stretch to catch the wandering bear. He added that people should always be on the lookout for bears, especially in Chelsea where the Gatineau Park is so close.