In 2016 the East Algoma Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Detachment received to 346 bear complaints, starting as early as mid-April. As warmer weather approaches bears will be coming out of hibernation and making their presence known again.
The East Algoma OPP Detachment would like to remind the public that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) is the agency primarily responsible for bear management in the Province of Ontario. The MNRF operates the Bear Wise Reporting line at 1-866-514-2327 twenty-four hours a day, seven days per week. The OPP does, however, respond to calls involving bears that pose an immediate threat to human or public safety. In situations that pose an immediate threat to human safety; call 911.
Responding to nuisance bear calls utilizes a significant amount of police resources. Police will only destroy a bear as a last resort in a situation of immediate danger to human and/or public safety when there is no other reasonable alternative.
Please do your part to avoid attracting bears into our communities. It is important that you do your best to limit food sources for bears. Most notably, garbage and garbage cans should be kept inside and only be put to the curb on the morning of your scheduled garbage pick-up. Many municipalities have by-laws in place that restrict putting garbage to the curb the night before scheduled pick-up, and you may be subject to fines if you do not comply with these regulations. Please contact your local municipal office for information on by-laws.
For more information on how to prevent bear encounters visit ontario.ca/bearwise.