The Timmins Police Service is aware that Timmins is on the cusp of what is commonly known as “bear season” and expect an increase in calls for service regarding bears in neighborhoods along the tree line perimeter of the city.
Typically, there is an increase in such calls that can be anywhere from marginal to significant.
As a proactive measure focused on the prospect that the situation continues to be manageable, the Timmins Police Service wish to respectfully remind all citizens that not all bear sightings merit a police response. Some residents feel compelled to call the police when a bear is sighted making its way back to the tree line. All too often, upon police arrival, the bear in question has managed to safely reach the forested area around Timmins.
It stands to reason that any situation where the bear is posing some element of imminent threat or damaging property does merit a police response and interaction.
Additionally, some complainants grow frustrated and make threats to shoot the bear if the police do not attend immediately. Residents are reminded that discharging a firearm within city limits will trigger a police investigation into the dangerous use of a firearm.
In short, simply sighting a bear in an area where no threat to personal safety or property damage is likely does not require a police response.
With the above in mind, the Timmins Police Service is distributing Bear-Wise advice that is contained at https://www.ontario.ca/page/bear-wise-tips-and-tools and focused on reducing the unintentional luring of bears into neighborhoods along the tree line.
It is hoped that dedicated adherence to the following tips in particular will be effective.
Bear-Wise tips are provided as a public service.
1) Never leave garbage behind. If you must leave before garbage day, take your garbage with you when you go. Take it to an approved waste disposal site. Put garbage in containers that have tight-fitting lids, and only put it out on garbage day, not the night before. Store garbage in a bear-resistant container, secure shed or garage. Do not store garbage in plywood boxes, old freezers or vehicles. Do not stockpile garbage. Take it to an approved waste disposal site regularly. Keep meat scraps in the freezer until garbage day.
2) Fill bird feeders only through the winter months.
3) Never feed bears (or other wildlife) or try to approach them.
4) Remove grease and food residue from barbecue grills, including the grease trap, after each use.
5) Do not put meat, fish or sweet food (including fruit) in your composter.
6) Pick all ripe fruit off trees, and remove vegetables and fallen fruit from the ground.
7) Respectfully encourage your neighbors to practice Bear Wise habits.
8) Use a strong disinfectant to eliminate all odors from garbage and recycling containers and lids.
9) Never discard cooking grease outside. Instead, place it in a container with a lid, transfer it to a plastic bag and include it with other properly stored garbage.
10) Be mindful that non-food household items like suntan lotion, insect repellent, soap and candles attract bears.
11) Close and lock all windows and doors.
12) If you are away for an extended period of time, have someone you trust check in and look for signs that a bear has either visited or broken into your property.
13) Do not leave pet food outdoors. Feed pets indoors, not outside or in screened-in areas or porches.
14) Avoid landscaping with trees, shrubs or plants that produce food known to attract bears (some examples include crab apple trees, mountain ash, beech and oak).