Not every bear is an emergency: OPP

Press release

With the cooler temperatures approaching, fall time is an important time to be aware of bears. There have been many sightings in the Rainy River district recently as the bears are starting to bulk up for winter. With bears preparing for winter hibernation, fall is when people need to be the most aware. Bears tend to find their way into residential areas this time of year search for food.

Not every bear sighting is an emergency situation, here is who to call if you encounter a bear.

Non-Emergency Encounters

reporting line at 1-866-514-2327 (TTY 705-945-7641) if a bear is:

  • Roaming around, checking garbage cans
  • Breaking into a shed where garbage or food is stored
  • In a tree
  • Pulling down a bird feeder or knocking over a barbecue

For Emergency Situations

Call 911 or your local police force if a bear poses an immediate threat to personal safety by exhibiting threatening or aggressive behaviour, such as:

  • Entering a school yard when school is in session
  • Stalking people and lingering
  • Entering or trying to enter a residence
  • Wandering into a public gathering
  • Killing livestock/pets and lingering on site.

The Rainy River District would also like to provide some safety tips:

  • Never feed or approach bears
  • Secure food, garbage and recycling
  • Remove bird feeder when bears are active
  • Never leave pet food outdoors
  • Clean and Store BBQ grills and smokers
  • Alert neighbours to bear activity