The Ministry of Natural Resources may no longer be trapping bears, but a local wildlife refuge may be soon.

Wild at Heart — a centre that currently treats bears only if they are tranquilized when they are brought in — is seeking permission to trap injured bears.

The centre’s volunteers often receive calls about injured bears, president Rod Jouppi said, but by the time they can respond the bears are often gone.

"Usually they're not injured badly enough that we can get close enough to give them a sedation so we can then ascertain what the injuries are by taking x-rays and so on," Jouppi said.

Wild at Heart needs permission from the MNR to trap bears. The bears wouldn't be relocated, but would be treated and then released back into the wild.

Bear calls gone wild

The suggestion may be welcome, particularly when one considers Sudbury police have received double the number of calls about nuisance bears this year.

After receiving 143 calls last year police said they have received 340 since May of this year.

The Ministry of Natural Resources stopped trapping and relocating bears this year — an approach that doesn't work in northern Ontario, where there are more bears, said Sudbury Police staff sergeant Dan Despatie.

"Taking a cookie-cutter approach to bear management in the province of Ontario may not be the best solution," he said.

Despatie noted police are talking to MNR officials with the hope they will start trapping and relocating bears next year.