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A male bear lies dead, and is removed by City of Burlington workers, after Halton Regional Police shot the animal in Mountainside Park in the heart of a residential area in Burlington, Ont., on May 16, 2012.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail/Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

Officers had little choice but to shoot and kill a black bear that was roaming in a Burlington park, a police spokesman said Wednesday.

The animal appeared around 10 a.m. ET Wednesday in Mountainside Park (near Highway 407 and Brant Street), which contains a playground, and is surrounded by a residential neighbourhood and schools.

Halton Regional Police Sgt. Dave Cross described the animal as an adult male black bear weighing up to 180 kilograms.

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The Ministry of Natural Resources was contacted as officers set up a containment area and notified schools to ensure that children would not be put at risk, Sgt. Cross said.

"MNR personnel advised police that in order to immobilize a bear to relocate it, it needs to be contained up a tree and not in a densely populated residential area," he said.

Police were told it can take up to 20 minutes for tranquilizers to take effect, and the bear can still pose a threat during that time, Sgt. Cross said.

Local animal control was neither equipped nor trained in the use of large animal tranquilizer guns or traps, and Sgt. Cross said private animal control businesses were unable to respond quickly.

The bear was killed due to community safety concerns after it moved within 10 metres of a home, he said.

"Our officers do not relish having to dispatch an animal, but our options were extremely limited," Sgt. Cross said.

"Given the particular circumstances, we could not risk public safety as the bear moved deeper into residential areas."

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Sgt. Cross could not say if it was the same bear that was seen in Milton, Ont., last weekend.

Officers responding to a bear sighting in that community on Sunday were confronted by a large black bear that stood up on its hind legs about 50 metres away before running into the bush.

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