Bear season winds down


With no new bear reports made in the past two weeks, it appears the bruins started to find their dens to hibernate for the winter.
And with chilly winds and regular bouts of rain and snow lately, who can blame them?
Local bylaw enforcement/animal control officer Arlene Byrnes said late yesterday that 32 nuisance bears have been reported since June, with the most recent one called in on Oct. 18.
“We’re pretty much done, I’d say,” she remarked.
“I wouldn’t totally go out on a limb and say we’re totally done,” she admitted. “But things are winding right down.”
In order to dissuade any nuisance bears still looking for a snack, Byrnes said residents can continue to take precautions.
Although fallen fruit no longer may an attractant for bears, residents’ garbage might be and so she once again encouraged people to put their trash out on the morning of garbage day—not the night before or earlier.
Overall, this season was fairly tame for bears compared to elsewhere in the region, like Atikokan. It also was less busy than three of the past four years, Byrnes noted.
In 2008, for instance, a total of 40 bears were reported while only 22 were called in during 2007.
But back in 2006, 77 bruins were reported and in 2005, a whopping 105 bears were spotted roaming within town limits.
Live traps were put out at several times over the summer, including three at once in early October.
In the end, however, only one bear was live-trapped and relocated from the area around Crowe Avenue on Sept. 6 while another one was immobilized back in late June.
In case residents do see a bear who hasn’t yet turned in for winter, they’re asked to report them by calling the Ministry of Natural Resources’ “BearWise” hotline at 1-866-514-2327.
If the matter is urgent and there is any potential danger, residents are directed to call the OPP’s communications centre at 1-888-310-1122, not the local detachment or the town.
After a report is made, a bylaw officer and/or police may attend the scene, depending on the circumstances.
Authorities then either will continue to receive and monitor the reports of the nuisance bear, deploy a live trap, immobilize and remove the bear, or destroy it if necessary.