The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are reminding everyone to be careful as black bears come out of hibernation this spring.
Faced with a scarcity of natural food sources, hungry bruins often look for food in garbage cans and bird feeders, officials pointed out.
How to prevent bear encounters
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 the day of garbage pickup to put out garbage
- 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 are not always a threat, but it is important to know who to call if you encounter one. For non-emergencies, the province offers a toll-free Bear Wise reporting line (1-866-514-2327) 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 your local police department.