Black bear

A man has been treated and released from hospital in Sioux Lookout after a bear bit his hand while he was napping outdoors. Photo used for illustration purposes only. (Jeff Mcintosh/Canadian Press)

A man in Sioux Lookout was awakened by a bear biting his hand Wednesday evening.

Provincial police report a 29-year-old from Muskrat Dam First Nation was sleeping on the ground next to a trail on Seventh Avenue when he woke up to find a bear biting his hand around 9:30 p.m.

The incident occurred near a wooded area in the middle of town, said OPP Sergeant Kevin Young.

"The male was lying on the trail when a bear came out of the bush and grabbed his right hand and started to drag him into the bush," he told CBC News.

"At that time a passerby witnessed the event and threw some heavy rocks at the bear, striking him in the head, and the bear ran off into some bushes."

The man was treated in hospital for his injuries and released.

In a news release Friday morning, OPP said people need to take precautions about attracting bears while outdoors and not to approach or attempt to interact with bears.

Young said there have been several reports of nuisance bears in Sioux Lookout this year. 

"We have had issues with bears throughout the past few weeks in town, going after people's garbage and bird feeders, and it's becoming very common for the bears to be in town," he said.

Provincial police also state anyone wishing to report a nuisance bear should call the Ministry of Natural Resources Nuisance Bear hotline at 1-866-514-2327. For issues of public safety, people should contact the Ontario Provincial Police at 1-888-310-1122.