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Black Bears

Black bears are an important part of our ecosystem, but people unknowingly can attract them into their communities and backyards. As bears travel in search of natural food, they can be drawn to human-caused, unnatural food sources. These sources include:

  • Garbage
  • Bird food (seed, suet and nectar)
  • Food put outside for pets or wildlife
  • Compost, grease and food residue on barbecue grills
  • Food smell (baking or cooking with open windows or doors)
  • Agriculture crops such as corn and soya 

For non-emergency encounters call the Bear Wise reporting line: 1-866-514-2327 (April 1st to November 30)

If a bear is:

  • Returning often to your property
  • Roaming around, checking garbage cans
  • Breaking into a vehicle, shed, garage or unoccupied building
  • In a tree in an urban area
  • Pulling down a bird feeder or knocking over a barbecue
  • Injured or dead due to a vehicle or train

Emergency encounters: Call 911 or local police if a bear poses an immediate threat to personal safety:

  • Enters a school yard when school is in session
  • Enters or tries to enter an occupied residence
  • Wanders into a public gathering
  • Kills livestock/pets and lingers at the site
  • Stalks people and lingers at the site

For information from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry please visit ontario.ca/bearwise.

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