Dealing With Bears in the Community

Black Bear

(WAWA, ON) – Public safety is important to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and the Municipality of Wawa. Bears that come into a populated area aren’t always a threat to public safety. Public safety is at risk when a bear poses an immediate threat to personal safety by exhibiting threatening or aggressive behaviour. Who do I call?

Emergency Situations

Call 911 if a black bear exhibits threatening or aggressive behaviour, such as:

  • Entering a school yard when school is in session
  • Stalking people and lingering on site
  • Entering or trying to enter a residence
  • Wandering into public gathering
  • Killing livestock/ pets and lingering on site.

Non-Emergency Encounters

Call the toll-free Bear Wise reporting line at 1-866-514-2327 (TTY 705-945-7641) if a black bear is:

  • Roaming around, checking garbage cans
  • Breaking into a shed where garbage or food is stored
  • In a tree
  • Pulling down a bird feeder or knocking over a barbecue
  • Moving through a backyard or field but is not lingering.
  • The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week from April 1 until November 30.
  • Human- bear interactions are related to the availability of bears’ natural food sources.
  • When natural food sources are unavailable, black bears will search for other food. Items such as garbage and bird feed can draw bears to populated areas. Take care by:
  • Storing garbage in waste containers with tight-fitting lids
  • Putting out garbage only on the morning of pickup
  • Filling bird feeders, including seed, suet and nectar only during the winter when bears are hibernating
  • Cleaning food residue and removing grease from outdoor barbecue grills after each use
    Keeping pet food indoors.

For more information regarding Municipal by-laws relating to this subject you can access their website at under by-laws.


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