Bears are coming out, and they’re hungry.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are reminding the public to use caution as black bears emerge from their dens this spring, a release stated.
Bears may be particularly emboldened this year by the lack of foot traffic on the streets owing to the COVID-19 quarantine, officials stated.
Preventing bear visits
Prevent wandering bears by storing garbage in bins with secure lids, and by putting garbage out close to pick-up times. It’s also recommended to temporarily take down bird feeders, and ensure your barbecues are free from grease and food residue. Pet food should also be kept indoors.
Bears have a keen memory for past food sources. Be diligent to ensure your backyard or neighbourhood isn’t kept on the menu, officials asked.
If you spy a bear, the province recommends calling the toll-free Bear Wise reporting line at 1-866-514-2327. The line is open 24/7 from April 1 to November 30. If an emergency situation arises, however, remain calm and dial 911, officials urged.