76-year-old Bertha Saikkonen is under investigation after using a 30-aught-six rifle to kill a black bear that was pestering her Sudbury neighbourhood.
Neighbour Jessica Stoner asked Bertha and her husband Ludger to assist in dealing with a pair of bears that were roaming on her property last week, eating the many foods provided by the fall season.
Stoner initially contacted the Ministry of Natural Resources for help, but was told that they wouldn’t do anything, as the bears are simply grazing on food found in her yard.
When she was woken up yet again by the nuisance bears, she asked her neighbours to help disperse the animals.
Ludger fired a warning shot with his rifle, which scared one of them off. That’s when he handed the gun to Bertha, who fired two shots at the remaining beast; the first missed, but the second found its target.
The shots brought the Greater Sudbury Police to the area, who charged the elderly couple with careless use of a firearm and removed their weapons.
The MNR does give landowners the legal right to kill a bear in defence of property, as noted here by The National Post, but it must be done “humanely and safely in accordance with local bylaws that cover the discharge of firearms.”
Stoner is thankful for how Bertha and Ludger handled the situation. She worries about what the black bears will do once their food source dries up. Will they then turn their attention to what’s inside her home?