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Killer bear was badly wounded

Kevin Wilson
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Jun 13/01) - The bear that killed Kyle Harry was badly injured in a fight with another bear before it attacked the popular Yellowknife teenager.

Senior renewable resources officer Raymond Bourget told Yellowknifer that a post-mortem examination of the bear revealed extensive injuries.

"He'd had a scrap with another bear," said Bourget.

"There had been a bite to the head," he added. One of the other bear's canine teeth had punctured an eye, rendering him blind in that eye. The other canine had punctured the bear's skull all the way down to its sinus cavity.

The eye injury would have severely impaired the bear's ability to see clearly.

"Like humans, bears are a binocular animal," said Bourget. That means they need both eyes working together to have depth perception. A bear blinded in one eye would have had no ability to determine how far away or close objects were.

Bourget said the examination also revealed extensive claw marks across the bear's front legs. Otherwise, said Bourget, the bear was "not diseased" in any way.

"It was a thin bear," he added. "It did have some fat in its belly, but not much body fat."

Bourget said that with the exception of the injuries, it appeared the bear had emerged from hibernation in a relatively normal state.