With the warmer weather taking hold, the Timmins Police Service has noted a marked increase in bear calls in recent days.
So far this month, the Timmins Police have responded to 39 calls related to nuisance bears.
In May of 2018 there were only 2 such calls and a total of 8 in May of 2017.
With this in mind, the Timmins Police Service is issuing a public reminder in regards to mitigating activity that is likely to entice bears from entering onto your property.
There are a number of simple but necessary precautions that must be undertaken to prevent or limit the likelihood of nuisance bears becoming an issue locally.
Bears are now coming out of hibernation, and are actively seeking out food sources.
With this in mind, the following steps should contribute to lessening occurrences involving nuisance bears.
- City garbage receptacles should only be put out to the street on the morning of city garbage collection.
- If at all possible, city garbage receptacles should be stored in a shed or garage
- Remove all bird feeders until such time as natural food sources for bears are more plentiful
- Sanitizing city garbage receptacles and household barbeques with disinfectants or household cleaners will help reduce odors that entice bears onto your property.
- Keep pet food containers indoors.
- Fruit trees (crab-apple trees in particular) should be harvested.
The Timmins Police remind local citizens that it is likely bear sightings will increase over the next while.
That said, a bear sighting does not necessarily create the need for the police to be called.
If a bear poses an immediate threat to public safety or displays menacing or aggressive behavior, a call to 9-1-1 is certainly warranted.
Should anyone happen to encounter a bear, the directives of the Bear Wise program should be followed in terms of allowing the bear to complete their route back to a wooded area without preventing the bear from doing so, or acting in such a way that will panic the animal.
Bears usually have a timid disposition but, nonetheless, they are wild animals.
It is also noteworthy that calls to Bear Wise program are tracked so that appropriate resources can be deployed to address those bears who pose a chronic cause for concern in residential neighborhoods.
In short, the more often Bear Wise is made aware of a nuisance animal, the better the likelihood of having proactive measures undertaken to rectify the situation.
The Timmins Police Service recommends that the general public acquaint themselves with bear-related public information and safety practices readily available through contacting the MNRF and their toll-free Bear Wise line at 1-866-514-2327, or to proactively peruse their website at https://www.ontario.ca/page/prevent-bear-encounters-bear-wise