FORT FRANCES – Northwestern Ontario is home to a wide range of wild animals. Moose, Deer, and Black Bears range across the region and are a part of the beauty of this part of Ontario.
Wild animals can also present problems and even danger.
The Rainy River District Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to remind the public that this is the time of year that bears can be seen in our communities in search of food. Not every bear sighting is an emergency situation. Here is who to call if you encounter a bear.
Call the toll-free Bear Wise reporting line at 1-866-514-2327 (TTY 705-945-7641) if a black bear is:
- Roaming around, checking garbage cans,
- Breaking into a shed where garbage or food is stored,
- In a tree,
- Pulling down a bird feeder or knocking over a barbecue,
- Moving through a backyard or field but is not lingering.
This line operates 24-hours a day, seven days a week, from April 1 to November 30. Staff can provide advice about bear behaviour, how to avoid human-bear interactions and how to remove attractants from your property.
Call 911 or your local police force if a bear poses an immediate threat to personal safety by exhibiting threatening or aggressive behaviour, such as:
- Entering a schoolyard when school is in session,
- Stalking people and lingering on-site,
- Entering or trying to enter a residence,
- Wandering into a public gathering,
- Killing livestock/pets and lingering on site.
Police are the first responder for any emergency situation.
If requested by the police, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry will respond to emergency situations to assist during daylight hours. For more information, please visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/prevent-bear-encounters-bear-wise.