Bear reports slowing down

Town bylaw enforcement officers responded to a bear report Thursday evening on the 1000 block of Portage Avenue—their 87th call of the past month.
Officers went to the scene around 5:30 p.m. to find a 200-pound female bear in a tree, which they then tranquilized and relocated.
“Everything went according to plan,” noted bylaw enforcement officer Dave Egan. “To be honest with you, we were probably on the property and out in a half an hour’s time.
“The bear was released east of town, tagged, and everything,” he added.
“Some of these people have said these bears have been returning to town,” Egan said. “But we tag every bear and we’ve never had a bear we’ve tagged come back into town.”
Egan also noted the bear activity has “slowed down considerably.” There were about 80 reports in the first three weeks of September, but only a handful in the past week or so.
Still, Egan said residents should continue to take measures to discourage bear activity. “Don’t let up now just because they haven’t been around for a little bit,” he stressed.
These measures, provided by the local Ministry of Natural Resources, include:
•Put garbage out on the morning of garbage day, not the night before;
•Do not leave pet food outdoors;
•Thoroughly clean outdoor grills after use;
•Fill bird feeders only through the winter months;
•Do not put meat, fish, or sweet food (including fruit) in your composter;
•Don’t compost with open containers;
•Keep meat scraps in the freezer until garbage pick-up day;
•Remove vegetables and fallen fruit from the ground;
•Clean up any garbage in your yard;
•Ensure dumpster lids are closed; and
•Leave the bears alone—remember, they’re wild and highly unpredictable.
Residents with bear complaints are directed to call the OPP’s communications centre (1-888-310-1122).

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