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Watch out for bears

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The Ministry of Natural Resources is asking residents to be aware of bears in the Fort Frances area, and to take the necessary steps to avoid attracting them into local neighbourhoods.

Over the past several weeks, people in the Fort Frances area have reported almost 30 conflicts with black bears.

Of these reported incidents, most involved items like garbage and bird feeders, which attract bears.

The MNR reminds the public that the majority of human-bear conflicts are preventable by eliminating items known to attract bears.

Garbage, bird food (including suet, seed, and nectar), odours from barbecues, and ripe fruit left on trees and on the ground are among items that can attract bears to your property.

“Bears quickly learn to associate humans with any type of food and will return to that area unless that attractant is cleaned up,” warned Kathryn Lyzun, regional communication and marketing specialist for the MNR’s Northwest Region.

“To reduce the chances of attracting bears into your community and to keep bears wild, we are asking people to bear-proof garbage and put garbage out the morning of pick-up only, remove bird feeders, including hummingbird feeders, remove grease and food residue from barbecue grills after each use, and pick ripe fruit from trees and the ground,” she noted.

Right now, natural foods for bears in this area are becoming unavailable. When natural foods are in low supply, bears will seek out alternative food sources—often in communities.

When bears do not gain access to non-natural foods like garbage, they will not stay in the area.

If you have a problem with a bear, call the MNR’s “Bear Wise” reporting line toll-free at 1-866-514-2327.

You will be connected with a live operator during bear season (April 1-Nov. 30).

In the event of a life-threatening emergency, contact your local police (274-7777) or dial 9-1-1.

Read more about bears at ontario.ca/bearwise

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