Living in Northern Ontario, some of us will come across wildlife, including bears. While negative encounters with animals are rare, bear sightings are quite common in Sault Ste. Marie and Prince Township.
If a bear poses an immediate threat to personal safety please call 911 for police assistance. If you notice a nuisance bear, one that is checking garbage cans, sheds and or birdfeeders please notify the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) by calling their toll free number 1-866-514-2327.
If you do come across a bear, here are a few other tips to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
- Keep your property clear of garbage, ripe berries and other food sources that may attract a bear
- When using a barbecue, make sure to clean it on a regular basis
- Do not leave pet food outdoors or in screened-in areas or porches
If you find yourself in a situation with an angry or agitated bear, please follow the below instructions as laid out by the MNRF.
- Slowly back away while keeping the bear in sight and wait for it to leave.
- If the bear does not leave, throw objects, wave your arms and make noise with a whistle or air horn.
- Prepare to use bear spray.
- If you are near a building or vehicle get inside as a precaution.
- Run, climb a tree or swim — a bear can do these things much better than you
- Kneel down
- Make direct eye contact
For more detailed information, please reference the MNRF’s Bear Wise program by going here. https://www.ontario.ca/page/prevent-bear-encounters-bear-wise