THUNDER BAY – The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and Thunder Bay Police Service are asking area residents to be aware of bears in Thunder Bay District and to take the necessary steps to avoid attracting bears into local neighbourhoods.
In the past week, people in the Mapleward Road and Arthur Street area have reported two conflicts with black bears. Of these reported incidents, both involved items such as garbage and bird feeders, which attract bears.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry reminds the public that bears are often attracted to such things as garbage, bird food (including suet, seed and nectar), odours from barbecues and ripe fruit left on trees and on the ground. Removing attractants can help keep bears out of the area.
The ministry would like to thank the many people who are already eliminating attractants. It takes only one property where attractants are not managed carefully to draw bears to a neighbourhood. Everyone must work together to keep bears in the wild where they belong.
When the availability of natural foods is poor, bears will seek out alternative food sources, often in communities. When bears cannot gain access to non-natural foods such as garbage, they will not stay in the area.
▪ If a bear poses an immediate threat to public safety by exhibiting threatening or aggressive behaviour, call 911 or your local police at 684-1200.
▪ For advice on removing bear attractants, call the Ministry of Natural Resources Bear Wise reporting line toll-free at 1-866-514-2327, Hearing Impaired (TTY) 1-705-945-7641. You will be connected with a live operator during bear season (April 1-Nov. 30).
▪ Read more about bears at ontario.ca/bearwise.