CORNWALL, Ontario – The Ministry of Natural Resources says it’s not uncommon for bears to be spotted in urbanized areas at this time of year after word spread that a bruin has been spotted in Ingleside.
OPP said Wednesday a black bear was spotted in Ingleside at about 9:40 p.m. Tuesday. The black bear was observed on the front yard of the complainant. The bear appeared to be roaming around and was not in danger of harming anyone.
“Bears are out wandering the countryside this time of year because: 1) breeding season; 2) cubs are being sent out on their own to find new territories,” said Jolanta Kowalski, an MNR spokesperson.
But MNR suggests there has been a spike in bear sightings, up to 84 bear calls from 52 last year.
The OPP are reminding people to take simple precautions this spring to prevent attracting black bears as they come out of hibernation.
The potential for human-bear conflict increases when there is little natural food available for bears. If this happens, black bears will search for other food sources, such as garbage and bird feed, which can draw bears to populated areas.
Follow these simple instructions to minimize the chances of attracting bears:
– Store garbage in waste containers with tight-fitting lids.
– Put out garbage only on the morning of pickup.
– Put away bird feeders. Seed, suet and nectar also attract bears.
– Pick fruits and berries as they ripen — don’t let them rot on the ground.
– Clean outdoor barbecue grills after each use, including the grease trap underneath. Bears will be drawn by smells from great distances, including grease and food residue on grills.
– Keep dogs on leash; sometimes bears will follow off-leash dogs back to you.
Bears entering a populated area are only a danger if they pose an immediate threat to your personal safety or that of the general public.
Black bears that come into a populated area aren’t always a threat to public safety.