Help Avoid Bear Encounters
It is the time of year when many Nova Scotians will see wildlife roaming through their neighbourhoods. For bears, hibernation has ended and yearling bears are leaving their mothers and wandering into unfamiliar territory. “More than 400 nuisance bear situations were reported last year. Sightings decreased compared with the previous year and with continued co-operation, we can further reduce the number of problem bear situations,” said Department of Natural Resources manager of wildlife resources Tony Nette. “Although there has never been a bear incident involving human injury reported in Nova Scotia, bears have the potential to be dangerous and destructive. “We must all help in the prevention of bear encounters.” When department staff investigate problem bear situations, they find food odours or a source of food that has attracted the bear to the area. Keeping garbage inside or storing it in metal bear-proof containers, and keeping your barbecue grill clean and grease-free can prevent bear encounters at homes and cottages. While there is an abundance of natural foods, bears will search far and wide, following food odours into backyards. Bears are attracted to garbage, compost, green bins, pet food and bird feeders. There are specific precautions home and cottage owners, campers and hikers should take to reduce the likelihood of attracting bears. To find out how to prevent bear incidents and what to do when a black bear is seen, visit the Natural Resource’s website at www.gov.ns.ca/natr/wildlife/Nuisance/bears.htm . Bear sightings in residential communities and near homes should be reported to the Department of Natural Resources. Trained staff will determine the appropriate action. During business hours, call a local Natural Resources office. After hours, on weekends and holidays, call toll free 1-800-565-2224.