Bear found in Clyde River

No worries, this bear was found in Clyde River in 1843. Donald Murray from the Baltic Road had been having some trouble with them. As the article says, they “had been making too free with his sheep.” Having lost a prime sheep, Donald was “determined to watch for the marauder”. He was only watching for about five minutes when the Bruin (brown bear) made its appearance and was instantly destroyed.

We find out that Donald took the bear skin to town to sell. “A large bear, in capital condition, was brought to town for sale yesterday, weighing 300 lb.” It turns out the skin was not at its best given the time of year, so it would not fetch a high value. We are unable to report if Donald even covered the cost of his prime sheep.

Sometimes when a man killed a bear, they earned a nickname, so I’m wondering if Donald became known as Donald “Bear” Murray, like a local folk hero. I have MacDonald relatives on my mother’s side from across the river which were referred to as the Bear MacDonalds. The story goes that one of them killed a bear with their hands, or that’s how the story evolved. My father would tease her by times when she got a little angry, “that’s the Bear MacDonalds comin’ out in ya.”

Having lived for more than a year with COVID restrictions, there’s a good chance that the Bear MacDonalds have been comin’ out in us, too.

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  1. Victoria on May 10, 2021 at 9:59 am

    Neat! We have a story in our family that my great-grandfather, Watson Livingston, killed a bear on the property in the early 1900s (maybe late 1910s?), about where the new Cornwall bypass splits off from the old Trans Canada in Clyde River (coming from New Haven). I’ve sometimes wondered the accuracy of that history but this suggest it’s more of a possibility; if not him, then perhaps his father.

    • VB on May 13, 2021 at 9:09 am

      Since we have published this story, we are hearing more PEI bear stories. Thanks for sharing.

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