Your Wildlife Habitat
Living With Bears
In almost every human-bear conflict, food, crops or garbage are involved. When food is scarce in their normal habitat, bears will wander into settled areas looking for a new food source. They can smell it 1.5 km. away! If their search is rewarded, they can become quite persistent in returning to the same location. A bear can be very destructive to property and crops in its quest for food.
Although bears are normally shy and avoid people, they can be unpredictable and dangerous, especially females with cubs. Rural property owners should learn to treat bears with a great deal of respect and memorize the steps to deal with any encounters.
The Bear Wise Program, from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, provides a wealth of information about bears, what you can do to avoid attracting them and how to deal with an encounter. This website has a number of downloadable fact sheets about preventing conflicts. This website has an excellent video clip to demonstrate safety measures. MNRF also provides a helpful fact sheet on Nuisance Black Bears and What To Do With Them. The law allows a property owner to destroy certain wildlife, including black bears that are damaging or about to damage property. Please refer to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
Bear Facts, produced by Ontario Nature, gives some great tips so you can tell if a bear is just checking you out or if he’s starting to get upset and most important of all, how to avoid the encounter in the first place.
You Are In Black Bear Country is a list of instructions prepared by Parks Canada for those venturing into bear habitat. These instruction sheets include a list of common bear attractants and details on how to respond if you are attacked.