Public asked to exercise caution as bears come out of hibernation
Tim Brody - Editor
With the arrival of spring The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are reminding the public to exercise caution as bears begin to come out of hibernation.
MNRF shared through a news release that black bears waking up from hibernation are faced with a scarcity of natural food sources, leading them to look for food in garbage cans and bird feeders.
The MNRF and OPP informed that people can prevent bears from visiting their home and neighbourhood by:
• Storing garbage in waste containers with tight-fitting lids
• Putting out garbage only on the morning of pickup
• Putting away bird feeders for the spring (you can offer birds natural alternatives, such as flowers, nesting boxes and fresh water)
• Cleaning food residue and grease from outdoor barbecue grills after each use
• Keeping pet food indoors
“Bears that enter your community are not necessarily a threat, but it is important to know who to call if you encounter a bear. For non-emergencies, the province operates a toll-free Bear Wise reporting line (1-866-514-2327). The line is open 24/7 from April 1 to November 30.
“If a bear is posing an immediate threat by exhibiting threatening or aggressive behaviour, remain calm and call 911 or your local police department,” MNRF and OPP concluded.
People are invited to visit www.ontario.ca/page/prevent-bear-encounters-bear-wise to learn more about how to avoid attracting bears and what they should do if they ever encounter one.