Black bear safety tips

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The Municipality of North Grenville was recently made aware of a black bear sighting along the trails at the Ferguson Forest Centre. The Ontario government operates a Bear Wise program and provides valuable information on their website (ontario.ca/page/prevent-bear-encounters-bear-wise).

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has advised that a bear who has entered a populated area isn’t necessarily a threat, but it is important to know who to call during a bear encounter.

If a bear is posing an immediate threat to public safety by exhibiting threatening or aggressive behavior, call 911 for your local police service. For non-emergencies, the Province operates a toll-free Bear Wise reporting line (1-866-514-2327) from April 1to November 30 to provide the public with information and best practices.

If you see a black bear, here are a few tips from the Bear Wise website:

  • 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

For more information: Government of Ontario Website – Bear Wise program –www.ontario.ca/page/prevent-bear-encounters-bear-wise.

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