There have been a few sightings of bears in the Greater Sudbury area already this month and they will only increase as bears slowly come out of hibernation. Black bears are extremely hungry at this time of year and because natural food sources are scarce in the woods, they will venture into the community and target garbage containers, BBQ residue, compost bins, pet food and bird seeds. Bears have an amazing sense of smell and everyone must make an honest effort to not have these items left outside for the taking.
In order to prevent any long-term issues or simply to reduce the likelihood of having bears in your yard / property, we suggest the following simple prevention tips:
- If possible, put your garbage to the curb the day of pick-up instead of the night before.
- Store your barbeque in a safe place, where bears cannot get at it. Clean your barbeque immediately after every use. Wash the grill or burn off the smell, food residue and grease.
- Do not put fruits, vegetables, meat products, fish or dairy products into your outdoor compost. Only grass and hedge clippings should be placed in outdoor compost bins in bear country.
- If you must leave pet food outside or want to set up bird feeders, make every effort to keep them where bears cannot access them.
** Once bears find a non-natural food source, they will return again and again
– we must all do our part to not attract them from the start. **
Bears may display defensive behaviours towards humans if:
- it is scared, intimidated or harassed (for example, a person or dog enters its personal space);
- it is defending itself, its food (carcass, garbage) or their cubs;
- the bear’s escape route is cut off.
If you encounter a bear:
- Remain calm – Often the bear is just passing through. If it doesn’t find a food source, it will move on.
- Drop any food you are carrying – Empty your pockets, drop your lunch or knapsack to the ground.
- Slowly back away – Don’t turn your back and do not run.
- Warn others to keep away – Make loud noises.
- Tell your neighbours a bear is in the area.
To report a bear problem:
– emergency, call 9-1-1 (Police)
– non-emergency, call the Bear Wise reporting line: 1-866-514-2327 (Apr. 1-Nov. 30)
For additional information, visit: www.ontario.ca/environment-and-energy/report-bear-problem-bear-wise
Encourage your neighbours to practice Bear Wise habits
– everyone must work together to keep bears away!
More information is available here: Greater Sudbury Police Service Media Release