Everyone is being reminded to be careful as black bears come out of hibernation.
They face a scarcity of natural food sources in spring, leading them to look for food in garbage cans and bird feeders, the Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources, and Forestry (NDMNRF) and Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) reminded.
Bear prevention tips
You can prevent bears from visiting your home and neighbourhood by:
- Storing garbage in waste containers with tight-fitting lids (indoors if possible)
- Waiting until pickup day to put out garbage
- Storing 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, including grease traps, after each use
- Keeping pet food indoors
If you encounter a bear and it is not an emergency, call the province’s toll-free Bear Wise reporting line (1-866-514-2327) that is available 24/7 from April 1 to Nov. 30.
If a bear is posing an immediate threat by exhibiting threatening or aggressive behaviour, remain calm and call 911 or local police.