Residents of Garden Avenue say they're concerned about the safety of children in their Thunder Bay neighbourhood after a black bear turned vicious with one of their neighbours.

Neighbour Pat Loroff said she's concerned about the children who live on the street.

Pat Loroff

Thunder Bay resident Pat Loroff says she's concerned about the children who live on the street, ever since a beat attacked her neigbhour in his back yard. (Heather Kiching/CBC)

"Now that it's daylight so long, they're out ‘til 11 p.m. riding their bikes,” she said.

“And you know this gentleman here, he's a big man. But if that bear would have had grabbed one of the kids that are seven or eight or 10 or 11, they wouldn't have had a chance."

The man who was attacked was walking in his backyard when the bear took him down by his ankles, said Ministry of Natural Resources ministry spokesperson Rick Hagdu.

“When the man turned over to realize it was a bear, he managed to fend the bear off and get to safety.”

‘Powerful bear’

The neighbour was unharmed in the incident.

An MNR investigation found garbage had been left out in the area. The incident happened on Tuesday, which is garbage day on Garden Avenue.

Residents say they put their garbage out at late as they can before garbage day.

"We have to put our garbage out the night before garbage pick up," said Nick Track.  "You don't see garbage on the street 'til Monday night."

Marcel Furlan said he’s accustomed to having bears in the area.

"I have my garbage in a metal container with a lock, and my neighbour, [does the] same thing.  You can see the metal box there.  He keeps his inside of the garage.  The neighbours here are all aware of the bear, so the garbage is inside," says Furlan.

"I can show you the metal container there, and he drags it all across there. He's a powerful bear."

Berriess not ripe?

Furlan said he's alarmed by how aggressive this bear is, and noted some folks have stopped taking walks.

"My grandson was up in the pit here with a quad runner and for a while I didn't see him so I was getting concerned.  Finally he got back and he told me that the bear was blocking his road,” he said.

Furlan added he thinks bears might be getting desperate because of the late berry season.

Drik Jellema agreed.

"The saskatoons are completely green.  There's not any real feed. I see one by my place. The bear is grazing in the grain fields. They're grazing there, so you know then that they're after whatever they can get.  Anything." 

Furlan said he hoped Ministry of Natural Resources can catch the bear and take him away.  

"Right now he's a concern for the whole neighbourhood here. There's a neighbour who likes to walk and now they've given up walking because of that."