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 conflicts 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.
If a bear is posing an immediate threat to public safety by exhibiting threatening or aggressive behavior, call 911 or your local police.
“I urge Ontarians to take all necessary steps to reduce their interactions with bears. If there is an immediate threat to public safety from a bear, the OPP will respond in our jurisdiction to protect our citizens with the assistance of the Ministry of Natural Resources.” said Vince Hawkes, Commissioner of the OPP.
To reduce the possibility of attracting bears, 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.