North Bay Police are currently investigating reports of a mother bear and two cubs that have been spotted near Widdifield Secondary School on Ski Club Road and Airport Road area.
Bears usually avoid humans. But they are attracted into urban and rural areas to get food. They will topple bird feeders, ransack barbecues, raid garbage cans and even try to enter buildings. If they learn that they can find food where people live, bears will return again and again.
If you encounter a bear
Stop. Do not panic. Remain calm.
Take these steps:
• do not try to get closer to the bear for a better look or picture
• make sure the bear has a clear escape route — don’t corner a bear
• always watch the bear and slowly back away until the bear is out of sight
• get inside, if you are near a building or vehicle
• leave the area, if you are berry-picking, hiking, camping, jogging or cycling
• if you are with others, stay together and act as a group
• if the bear does not get closer to you, slowly back away, talking to the bear in a quiet, monotone voice
• turn your back on the bear
• kneel down
• make direct eye contact
• climb a tree
• retreat into water or try and swim — a bear can do these things much better than you
For close encounters only:
• wave your arms to make yourself look bigger
• throw objects
• blow a whistle or an air horn
• make noise to try and persuade the bear to leave
• prepare to use bear pepper spray
If the bear keeps advancing toward you:
• stand your ground
• use your bear pepper spray (if the bear is within seven metres) or anything else you can find or use to threaten or distract the bear
• fight back as if your life depends on it
After the bear leaves:
• tell others about bear activity in the area
• if the bear was eating from a non-natural food source (like garbage or bird food), remove or secure the item that attracted the bear
For more information on bear wise tips, visit : https://www.ontario.ca/page/prevent-bear-encounters-bear-wise
When to call police about bears
Call 911 if a bear poses an immediate threat to personal safety. Emergencies might be when a bear enters a school yard when school is in session, enters or tries to enter a residence, wanders into a public gathering, kills livestock/pets and lingers at the site, or stalks people and lingers at the site.
For non-emergencies, call the Bear Wise reporting line at 1-866-514-2327. This number is for when a bear is roaming around, checking garbage cans, breaking into a shed where garbage or food is stored, in a tree, pulling down a bird feeder or knocking over a barbecue, or moving through a backyard or field but is not lingering.