A New Brunswick community north of Fredericton being terrorized by a nuisance bear has some in the area calling for action.
'I appreciate the fact that there's wildlife out here and I like ... where I live, I'm just worried about our kids.' —Jon Edwards, Penniac resident
About three weeks ago, a black bear — affectionately referred to as "Winnie" — began sniffing around the Penniac, N.B. neighbourhood looking for garbage to eat.
Jon and Krystal Edwards moved into the newly developed rural community, located about 10 kilometres north of Fredericton, with their two young girls about a year ago.
Edwards said there were no signs of a bear until a few weeks ago.
"We heard something rustling in our garbage and it was about two o'clock in the afternoon and I came out and there was this probably about 350 to 400 pound bear. We probably think it's about two to three years old," he said.
The Department of Natural Resources has said that summer heat heightens the smells of garbage, pet food, bird feeders, and BBQs. Those smells often lure bears out of the woods and into urban and suburban areas.
A bear’s principal sense is smell and they often find the wafting scent of an easy meal of hot garbage too enticing to pass up.
They spend months fattening up as much as possible to prepare for winter hibernation.
Edwards said the bear has returned five times. He said he’s tried several different strategies to keep the bear out of the garbage can but so far Winnie has been able to overcome the obstacles.
Edwards is hoping a shed he bought Saturday will do the trick.
He said many of his neighbours feel trapped inside their homes.
"I appreciate the fact that there's wildlife out here and I like it, and I like ... where I live, I'm just worried about our kids," he said.
Edwards said he wants the bear removed.
"I think our biggest concern is that our street has probably more than 10 kids, I think we counted, and having a bear wander around — that's a bit of a concern. It's almost like we have to lock our kids inside because we don't know if a bear is going to come up into our backyard," he said.
DNR couldn't be reached for comment Sunday, but the department did set up four live bear traps around the city last week after an increase in the number of bear sightings this year.