Safety in Bear Country

Bears may be a concern in some areas of the province. Here are some tips about staying safe in bear country, courtesy of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

Avoid Encounters

  • Never feed or approach a bear.
  • Make noise as you move through wooded areas – especially in areas where visibility is restricted or where background noise is high, such as near streams and waterfalls. Singing, whistling or talking will alert bears to your presence, giving them an opportunity to avoid you.
  • While outdoors, keep your eyes and ears open. Do not wear headphones. Scan your surroundings regularly.
  • Watch for signs of bear activity: tracks, claw marks on trees, flipped-over rocks, or fresh bear droppings.
  • Keep dogs leashed. Uncontrolled dogs may actually lead a bear back to you.

Think About Safety

  • Carry and have readily accessible a whistle or an air horn.
  • Carry and learn how use bear pepper-spray. Know its limitations.

If You Should Spot or Encounter a Black Bear

  • Stop. Do not panic. Remain calm.
  • Do not try to get closer to the bear.
  • Do not run, climb a tree, or swim.
  • Always watch the bear. While watching the bear, slowly back away until the bear is out of sight.
  • If you are near a building or vehicle, get inside as a precaution.
  • Leave the area and report bear activity to others you meet.

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