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40 bears struck by vehicles in August in region prompts warning from OPP

There have been 40 bears struck by vehicles on Hwy. 400 between Honey Harbour Rd. in Georgian Bay Township and Parry Sound in August alone, according to the OPP.

The latest happened on Thursday near South Bay Rd. on the northbound lanes of Hwy. 400 in Georgian Bay around 8:45 AM. An adult female bear died, according to Provincial Constable David Hobson, and three young cubs had to “scramble for their lives.”

He says the three cubs were later trapped by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and sent to wildlife rehabilitator Bear with Us in Sprucefale, Ont. Hobson says if all goes well the cubs will be released into the wild next spring.

“Although this scenario has a mixed outcome, other situations have not worked out so well for the bears,” Hobson says. 

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“Experts have various theories on the cause of the bears wandering outside of their traditional areas but motorists need to be mindful that wildlife collisions do happen,” he continues. “Motorists need to drive within the posted speed limits, scan well ahead for possible wildlife on the shoulder/ditch or roadway and use proper headlamps giving regard to other motorists nearby as wildlife never wear reflective suits and are unlikely to give way to a vehicle if encountered on a roadway.”

Hobson suggests leaving untidy garbage cans, poorly cleaned barbeques, bird feeders, and improperly disposing of food products “only helps to invite bears and possibly their cubs” to your home, specifically your cottage. He points to Ontario’s website as a good resource to use to be more “bear wise.”

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