Black bear sightings are a regular aspect of life in Northern Ontario, even in "built up" areas of cities. During the late spring and early fall, sightings may become more frequent than usual. People are encouraged to use common sense to prevent dangerous situations or the destruction of property.
Call the 24-hour bear hotline at 1-866-514-BEAR (2327). Trained staff are on hand to determine the appropriate response to calls.
The following are some tips for residents who see a bear or find evidence of a bear:
Rural and semi-rural dwellers, as well as those Residents of subdivisions that back onto the bush, must remember that when they choose country living, they choose to live in the bears' neighborhood. Especially in years of berry-crop failures, they must keep their yards clean and free of things that attract bears, including pet food, dirty barbecues, composting material and rotting garbage.
Bears need space, shelter, security for their young, and food. Please give these creatures of the wild the respect they deserve by preventing problems before they occur.
A recent outbreak of the arctic fox strain of rabies has occurred in Northeastern Ontario. It is important for people to ensure that their children do not approach wild or stray animals. People should also ensure that their pets are properly vaccinated and not be allowed to run free. Rabies is fatal if untreated.
For further information, contact the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit at 474-1400 and ask to speak to a public health inspector. You can also visit their website www.myhealthunit.ca and find more details.