OPP and the Ministry of Natural Resources are hoping you’ll be mindful of bears Numerous sightings have been reported around Penetanguishene and Tiny Township in the past month – just two where bears broke open garbage cans or other containers looking for food.
Most human-bear encounters occur when bears are attracted by smells, so removing potential attractants will help avoid unwarranted visitors.
How to be Bear-Wise
Make noise when you move through heavily wooded areas, especially if you are near a stream or waterfall, where bears may not hear you.
- Singing, whistling or talking will alert bears to your presence, giving them a chance to avoid you.
- Keep your eyes and ears open for signs of a bear like tracks, claw marks on trees or droppings.
- DO NOT wear headphones.
- Be aware of your surroundings, especially if you are doing activities outside (i.e. hiking, jogging, cycling, gardening, berry picking or camping) where bears may not realize you are there.
- If you are out with a dog, keep it on a leash. Uncontrolled, untrained dogs may actually lead a bear to you.
Think About Safety
- Carry a whistle or air horn.
- Carry and understand how to use bear spray.
- If you are in “backcountry” consider carrying a long-handled axe.
If You Do Spot A Bear
- Remain calm and do not run, climb a tree or swim.
- Slowly back away while keeping the bear in sight.
- Watch the bear and wait for it to leave, if it does not leave wave your arms and make noise.
- If you are near a building or vehicle, get inside as a precaution.
What To Do If An Encounter Results In An Attack
- Use bear spray.
- Fight back with everything you have.
- Do not play dead unless you are sure a mother bear is attacking in defence of her cubs.
This time of year sees more bears coming into urban areas in search of food, but not every bear sighting is an emergency situation.
Call 911 or your local police force if a bear poses an immediate threat to personal safety.
In non-emergency encounters, call the toll-free Bear Wise Reporting line at 1-866-514-2327 for advice on dealing with bears in the community and to report bear sightings.