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Bears are coming out of hibernation and looking for food

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The Ontario Provincial Police and the Ministry of Natural Resources remind everyone to take simple precautions to avoid bear encounters this spring.  The potential for human-bear conflicts increases when bears wake up from hibernation and there is little natural food available.  Black bears will search for other food sources, such as garbage and bird feed, which can draw bears to populated areas.  The OPP and MNR suggest storing garbage in waste containers with tight-fitting lids, only put garbage out on the morning of pickup, put away bird feeders, don’t let fruits and berries rot on the ground, and clean outdoor barbecue grills after each use, including the grease trap underneath.  Bears that enter a populated area aren’t necessarily a threat to public safety, but if a bear is posing an immediate threat to public safety by exhibiting threatening or aggressive behaviour, call 911 or your local police.  For non-emergencies, the Ministry of Natural Resources operates the toll-free, 24/7 Bear Reporting Line (1-866-514-2327) and the Bear Wise website to provide the public with information and advice.

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