Azilda resident Anne Size snapped these photos of some bears waking up outside of her backyard this week.
The warm weather took its time arriving, but it seems to be settling in now, and bears are coming out of their winter hibernation.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Foresty and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are reminding people to take extra care not to attract bears to their neighborhood.
Human-bear interactions are related to the availability of bears' natural food sources. When natural food sources are unavailable, black bears will search for other food.
Items such as garbage and bird feed can draw bears to populated areas.
Take care by:
- Storing garbage in waste containers with tight-fitting lids
- Putting out garbage only on the morning of pickup
- Filling bird feeders, including seed, suet and nectar only during the winter when bears are hibernating
- Cleaning food residue and removing grease from outdoor barbecue grills after each use
- Keeping pet food indoors.
A bear that enters a populated area isn't necessarily a threat, but it is important to know who to call during a bear encounter. Call 9-1-1 if a black bear poses an immediate threat to personal safety by exhibiting threatening or aggressive behaviour. Call the toll free Bear Wise reporting line at 1-866-514-2327 for any non-threatening bear encounters.
Have you seen any bears around your neighbourhood recently? Let us know in the comments section or send your bear photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.