If You See a Bear, Do This…

May 10th 2014 - Fifth Line

The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Sault Ste. Marie City Police are asking residents to take the following steps to prevent bear problems in their neighborhoods.

The Sault Ste Marie Police Service and the Ministry of Natural Resources have recently received several reported sightings of a bears in the area of Northwood Avenue. The bears are looking for any food source- specifically targeting garbage and bird feeders in the area.

It is recommended that the public not approach the animals but to contact the Bear Wise toll-free line at 1-866-514-2327.

Steps to avoid bear problems:

  • Clean up and store garbage securely
  • Pick up fallen fruit from ground
  • Clean barbecues
  • Don’t leave pet food outside
  • Remove birdfeeders
May 10th, 2014 – Fifth Line

Learn more:

→ See the attached fact sheet Dealing with Bears in the Community for a complete list of tips on how to avoid bears.

→ If you have a bear problem, call the Bear Wise line toll-free at 1-866-514-2327 (BEAR). If it’s a life-threatening emergency, contact your local police or 911.

→ For more information on bears, visit ontario.ca/bearwise.


To reduce the chances of attracting bears, the Ministry of Natural Resources advises property owners to –

  • Store garbage in steel containers, or in airtight containers, inside a storage area that is not accessible to bears.
  • Wash garbage containers and dumpsters frequently and use disinfectant to reduce odours.
  • Put garbage out on the morning of garbage day, and not the night before.
  • Not leave pet food outdoors.
  • Thoroughly clean outdoor barbeque grills after use.
  • Fill bird feeders only during the winter months.
  • Not put meat, fish or sweet food (including fruit) in your composter.
  • Keep meat scraps and fish parts in the freezer until garbage pick-up day.

If you spot a bear in a residential area:

  • Remain calm. Often the bear is just passing through and, if it finds no food source, will simply move on. Your residence may be located in or near the bear’s natural habitat.
  • If a bear is in a tree, leave it alone. Remove people and dogs from the area. The bear will ordinarily come down and leave when it feels safe. This is usually after dark.
  • Keep away from the bear, do not block its exit and warn others to keep away as well. Bring your children and pets into the house.
    If you are near a building or car, get inside it as a precaution. If the bear was attracted to food or garbage, remove it after the bear leaves to discourage the bear from returning.
  • Keep dogs away from bears, as the bear may follow the dog back to its owner.
  • To report bear problems call the BEAR WISE telephone line at 1 866 514-2327 (1 866 514-BEAR).
  • If the bear appears to be threatening, persistent, or aggressive, call the local police or 911.