RCMP and conservation officers in Kamloops used rubber bullets to scare off a mother black bear and her three cubs back into the woods on Thursday.

“(The bears had) made their way into a populated area and there was no wilderness for them to go back into,” said Const. Cheryl Bush.

They wandered along the Thompson River shoreline, at one point getting close to an area with about 70 people.

“Eventually — perhaps persuaded by the rubber bullets — the mother bear and her cubs swam across the North Thompson to an unpopulated area,” Bush said.

She added the animals were not aggressive but that officers had to act quickly to avoid the possibility of the mother bear and her cubs becoming separated.