UPDATE (10:00 AM ET): The bear has been safely released back into the wild. All the photos are here.

Ottawa Police had no choice but to shut down the city's busiest downtown district early this morning, after receiving multiple 911 calls about a black bear wandering the streets.

READ ALSO: An Injured Moose Wandered Onto An Ontario Highway This Morning And Caused A Major Traffic Jam (PHOTOS)

Ottawa's ByWard Market neighbourhood - near Parliament Hill - remains closed as police attempt to contain the animal and safely remove it from Ottawa's downtown streets. Police are warning the public to stay away from the restricted area. 

The bear is now surrounded by police, and officers are on standby until Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources arrives on scene. They are ready to act if the animal becomes aggressive, CP24 reports.

The bear's been on the loose for just a few hours and he already has a Twitter account - @BywardBear. Twitter users are even jokingly nominating the Byward Bear as a candidate for office. The bear's tweet back is priceless:

The bear was first spotted in the area of St. Patrick and Dalhousie Streets sometime in the middle of the night. Multiple news outlets have reported that a bear trapped in an urban area can be dangerous for nearby pedestrians,  due to the bear's stress level.

"Bears in urban areas are very dangerous. This is a wild animal that will be extremely stressed. Experts will be doing their best to relocate bear from downtown Ottawa but this is very difficult work," CTV's Graham Richardson said earlier.

@thebearsforeverembedded via  

About an hour ago, the bear was "sitting calmly" near Dalhousie and Murray Streets. So, for the time being, the situation appears under control and the bear is not an immediate threat to safety.

Source: CBCCP24




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