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Bears are a natural part of the environment, but there are things you can do to avoid an encounter. The Township of Georgian Bluffs, as well as South Bruce OPP, have each issued media releases in the past few days; the Hub has combined them into this seasonal reminder:


Following recent reports of signs of black bears in the area, the Township is reminding residents that bears are a natural part of the environment of Georgian Bluffs, but there are things you can do to avoid an encounter.

“Bears are all around us throughout the year, but are generally dormant in the winter months,” says Niall Lobley, Acting CAO/Director of Community Services with the Township. “However, during spring and summer, bears or signs of their activity may be spotted in the early morning or late evening hours.”

Most bears are naturally wary of human contact and will seek to avoid populated areas unless attracted by food smells.

You can help to avoid inviting contact with bears by:

  • Store garbage in waste containers with tight-fitting lids, and that any pet food is kept indoors.
  • Put out garbage only on the morning of pickup.
  • Avoid feeding wildlife. Put away bird feeders. Seed, suet and nectar attract bears.
  • Pick fruits and berries in your yard and garden 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. 
  • Always supervising your pets when outdoors, following leash laws, and keeping pets under your care and control at all times. Sometimes bears will follow off-leash dogs back to you.
  • Making noise such as singing, whistling, or talking when in forested areas.

If you see a bear, do not approach it. Stay calm, make yourself look as large as you can, and make noise while you back away slowly. If you have a non-emergency bear encounter, call the Ontario Bear Wise reporting line at 1-866-514-2327.

If a bear is causing an immediate threat to public safety such as stalking or lingering around people, entering a school yard, or trying to enter a residence, contact the OPP at 519.794.7827, or call 911. The police may request support from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to respond to emergency situations, on a case-by-case basis.

For more information on how to be bear-wise, visit the province's Bearwise page.


source: media releases, Township of Gerorgian Bay; OPP



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