Spotting a black bear in our Municipality is not an uncommon sight but this year the sightings seem to be increasing. It has been an extremely dry year with many fires in our Province, combined with the bears focused on finding food for the winter and the natural food shortages in some areas, resulting in bears becoming more likely to enter communities in search of food.
Bears are smart and once they associate an area with food, they may return multiple times, which can be dangerous for people, but also for the bear. When a bear is identified as a problem animal, steps are taken by Conservation to trap and relocate it, and in some cases it can require the use of lethal force.
It is important to be ‘Wildlife Smart’ and follow these tips to reduce the risk of conflicts with black bears, coyotes and other wildlife.
- The best way to help black bears is by reducing risks to both people and bears is securing attractants. This includes securing garbage, compost, human food and pet food so it can’t be accessed by bears.
- Never approach or feed a bear or any other wild animal.
- Leash dogs when walking outside to reduce the risk of it harassing a bear, being attacked by one or leading a bear back to the dog’s owner.
- Remove ripened or fallen fruit daily and do not allow it to rot on the ground.
- Remove bird feeders from April to November.
Bears are wild animals and must be respected. If you are entering bear country, carry bear deterrent spray and know how to use it. Be aware of your surroundings, walk in groups and make noise.
To report wildlife showing aggressive behavior or that appears sick, injured, or orphaned call the TIP line at 1-800-782-0076.