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Bear encounters--who do I call?

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The Rainy River District OPP would like to remind the public that this is the time of year that bears can be seen in our communities in search of food.

Not every bear sighting is an emergency situation. Here is who to call if you encounter a bear.

For non-emergency encounters, call the toll-free “Bear Wise” reporting line at 1-866-514-2327 (TTY 705-945-7641) if a black bear is:

  • roaming around or checking garbage cans;
  • breaking into a shed where garbage or food is stored;
  • in a tree;
  • pulling down a bird feeder or knocking over a barbecue; and/or
  • moving through a backyard or field but is not lingering.

This line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from April 1-Nov. 30.

Staff can provide advice about bear behaviour, how to avoid human-bear interactions, and how to remove attractants from your property.

In emergency situations, call 9-1-1 or your local police force if a bear poses an immediate threat to personal safety by exhibiting threatening or aggressive behaviour, such as:

  • entering a school yard when school is in session;
  • stalking people and lingering on site;
  • entering or trying to enter a residence;
  • wandering into a public gathering; and/or
  • killing livestock/pets and lingering on site.

Police are the first responder for any emergency situation.

If requested by police, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry will respond to emergency situations to assist during daylight hours.

For more information, visit www.ontario.ca/page/prevent-bear-encounters-bear-wise

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