Response to bear sighting worries Thunder Bay couple

A Thunder Bay man is raising concerns about how bear reports are handled by emergency services.
A Thunder Bay man is disappointed with the response he got from the community information line and from 911 when he reported a bear sighting. (stock photo) (Greg Malo Photography)

A Thunder Bay man is raising concerns about how bear reports are handled by emergency services.

James Taylor and his wife were driving on Sherwood Drive toward Dawson Road on Friday morning, when they saw a  bear heading into a residential area.

"We decided 'this is not good' because there (are) schools in the neighbourhood," he said. "We don't want to see an encounter between a bear and [children]."

Taylor said his wife called the 211 community information number to find out what to do. 

He said at first, the operator advised them to call the province's Bear Wise hotline. But then, after learning the bear was in the city, the operator told them to call 911. 

When they did, the 911 operator told them to call the Bear Wise number. 

Taylor said the couple was disappointed that emergency services didn't come to check the situation — and that city services don't seem to have a clear sense of how to handle bear sightings calls.  

"[We were] just trying to ... let people know that there is a danger out there," he said. "Certainly we know that bears don't typically attack people ... but [it does] happen."

"We live in northern Ontario," Taylor added. "It's just good to know if there is a wild animal around that can pose danger...who [we should] inform."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.