KAWARTHA LAKES-The Ontario government and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) remind you to exercise caution as black bears begin to come out of hibernation this spring.
Bears waking from hibernation face a lack of natural food sources, leading them to look for food in garbage cans and bird feeders.
You can prevent bears from visiting your home and neighbourhood by:
- Storing garbage in waste containers with tight-fitting lids (indoors if possible)
- Waiting until pickup day to put out garbage
- Taking away bird feeders for the spring and summer (you can offer birds natural alternatives, such as flowers, nesting boxes and fresh water)
- Cleaning food residue and grease from outdoor barbecue grills – including grease traps – after each use
- Keeping pet food indoors
Bears entering your community are not necessarily a threat, but it is important to know who to call if you encounter one. The province operates a non-emergency, toll-free Bear Wise reporting line (1-866-514-2327). The line is open 24/7 from April 1 to November 30.
- If a bear is posing an immediate threat by showing threatening or aggressive behaviour, remain calm and call 911 or your local police department.
- Visit Bear Wise to learn more about how to avoid attracting bears and what to do if you encounter one.
- Bears will remember their last source of food and return there when hungry, sometimes travelling over 100 kilometres.