Bears not a problem yet: Egan

While black bears haven’t been too much of a problem in town limits so far this year, the public is urged to be aware of the bothersome bruins this summer, bylaw enforcement officer Dave Egan warned Monday.
“We haven’t really had a problem,” he noted. “There’s been some sightings in the McIrvine area and the west end, Biddeson, along the river. There’s been only one incident with a bear in an enclosed area.
“We have one live trap set up, but there’s been no tranquilizing. Mostly just sightings at this point,” added Egan. “But later on, it all depends on the berry season.”
Given last year’s track record of up to five nuisance bear calls a week in the late summer, Egan said town residents should act now to prevent this from happening in the first place.
“They’ll come back if you feed them,” he stressed, noting bears in town most often are on the prowl for fruit and acorns on trees. Bears most often do this in the late summer or early fall.
  Some tips to follow when dealing with bears, and ensuring public safety, include:
•clean up any garbage in your yard (garbage has been responsible for attracting bears to certain areas in recent incidents);
•dumpster lids should be closed;
•after barbecuing, burn off the grills;
•don’t compost with open containers; and
•leave the bears alone—remember, they’re wild and highly unpredictable.
While activity there isn’t unusual at the moment, users of the town landfill site off McIrvine Road always should be cautious of bears when disposing of garbage there.
Residents also are urged not to go to the landfill just to see the bears.
Residents with a bear complaint are directed to call the OPP’s communications centre at 1-888-310-1122.
According to an agreement between the town, Ministry of Natural Resources, and the OPP, complainants must go through the police first.
Complainants should be prepared to provide the following information to assist the OPP:
•the location of the bear;
  •number of times the bear has been sighted;
  •time(s) of day the bear is sighted;
  •possible attractants in area (birdfeeder, garbage, etc.); and
  •what property damage occurred.
  After a report is made to the OPP dispatcher, police either will continue to receive and monitor reports, or take action to secure public safety by having a bylaw officer and/or police attend the scene.
There, authorities will either deploy a live trap, immobilize, and remove the bear, or destroy it if necessary.