Multiple organizations address local man illegally feeding bears (video)

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Last week concerned citizens who live in the area of Broos Road in Sault Ste. Marie reached out to SaultOnline frustrated with apparent inaction on what they believed to be a dangerous situation.

They alerted us to a man in the area who was not only feeding bears but also recording the interactions and posting them on social media.

They had alerted the proper authorities and felt like nothing was being done.

The individual in question has been doing this since April of 2020 and neighbours are worried about the dangers of having bears so used to human contact in the area.

“We have kids, we have dogs, we go for walks and these bears are not afraid of us, it’s a problem,” said the one individual we spoke with who lives near by and was afraid of retribution.

A video of what is occurring can be seen here, the last one on the social media page in question was shot May 30, 2022-

(11) Sault Man warned about feeding bears – YouTube

We reached out to the Ministry of Natural Resources, City of Sault Ste. Marie, Humane Society and Sault Police Service for their input on this situation and what was being done to correct the issue.

Nearly all of them pointed us to the city by-law, 2019-117 which outlines Animal Care and Control. Section 5.7 specifically says,

5.7.3 No person shall intentionally feed a Wild Animal or leave food or attractants of any type or form out of doors in such a manner as to attract, or be accessible by a Wild Animal or feral or stray Domestic Animal on private or public property.
 
5.7.4 Provision 5.7.3 does not apply to the following situations: (1) the feeding of song birds on private property; (2) the leaving of food as bait in a trap by a property Owner to capture a nuisance animal inhabiting or habituating their property pursuant to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997, S.O. 1997, c.41; (3) the leaving of food as bait by a licensed trapper, an employee of a licensed wildlife or pest control agency, or an Officer in the performance of their work; and (4) the leaving of food for a colony of stray or feral cats for the purpose of trapping and turning over to the Pound Keeper.

Sault Police Service Communication Manager provided this comment-

As mentioned in the release we issued on Friday, for non-emergency situations, it is best to contact the Ministry’s Bear Wise reporting line. In emergency situations, such as an aggressive bear etc. call 911 to report to police.

We strongly encourage people to follow safety tips provided by the province to help keep themselves, their loved ones and their property safe.

Tessa Vecchio, Communications Manager for the City informed us of who’s in charge of enforcing the by-law in these cases as well as the potential fine.

“This by-law is enforced by the Humane Society. Provincial legislation and the MNRF may also intervene regarding nuisance bear, as may police in emergency situations,” said Vecchio. “Section 5.7.3 of the above cited by-law creates an offence to feed wildlife within the City of Sault Ste. Marie. Fines can be $200 or more.”

When we reached out to the Humane Society, they confirmed the Ministry had deferred the matter to their agency for remedy and follow up and their officers had attended the property. There was no indication made if the person had been charged under the act.

The Ministry of Natural Resources gave this response to the questions-

Q1.  Can you please advise what people are supposed to do if they know wildlife is being fed, in this case, dangerous wildlife?

A1. Some municipalities may have by-laws that prohibit people from feeding wildlife. Residents are encouraged to become familiar with local by-laws and report infractions to local authorities in their area. Feeding wildlife does more harm than good as illustrated by the following points:

  • Threats to wildlife
  • Animals can become dependent on artificial food sources
  • Animals can lose their natural fear of humans and pets, becoming more prone to conflict
    artificial feed is not healthy for wildlife
  • Wild animals may gather in large numbers when they are being fed — this concentration of animals in one area can spread parasites and disease and cause destruction of natural habitat
  • Feeding animals near roads increases their risk of being hit by vehicles
  • Threats to people
  • Feeding wildlife may attract “unwanted” animals to your property
    animals will learn to associate humans with food, and can become a problem to neighbours
  • Habituated animals can become aggressive
  • Feeding animals near roads increases the risk of motor vehicle accidents, resulting in property damage, injury or death

Household Do’s and Don’ts

Do:

  • Appreciate wildlife from a distance
  • Keep household waste, compost and pet food out-of-reach from wild animals
  • Attract wildlife to your property by improving natural habitat
  • Work together with your neighbours to help keep wild animals wild

Don’t:

  • Put out food to attract wildlife
  • Try to approach or touch wild animals
  • Feed pets outdoors or allow pets to roam free
  • Put garbage out until the morning of collection

Q2. What are the laws around feeding bears?

A2. Some municipalities may have by-laws that prohibit people from feeding wildlife. Residents are encouraged to become familiar with local by-laws and report infractions to local authorities in their area.

The Ministry recommends reaching out to the City of Sault Ste Marie for more details on their by-laws.

Thank you for choosing SaultOnline as your source of news in Sault Ste. Marie and the surrounding area.

6 COMMENTS

  1. the bears know that we have voted for a weak leader, and they can walk all over us

    we need a strong leader who will put the fear of GOD into these lawless animals

    i have seen pictures of presidents in other countries RIDING on bears. harmony with the nature. but here we have an effeminate weirdo playing leader and unnatural, the animals are in chaos.

    it is all CONNECTED. it is my firm belief to eject Trudeau from office and the bear attacks will settle!

  2. In other words: “Nobody is going to do anything until somebody gets hurt”. Everybody all pointing to a piece of legislation as a reason. Don’t you just love bureaucracy? Even a self-respecting trapper wouldn’t do such a thing in a residential area. SMH

Comments are closed.