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A black bear visits this man's Ipperwash Beach home at night

In the 23 years Greg Shepley has lived on East Parkway Drive across from Ipperwash Beach, he's never seen a bear. Now, a 300-pound black bear visits his wooded property nightly.

Officials tell Greg Shepley the bear is free to roam so long as it isn't causing any harm

Greg Shepley stands next to the bird feeder where a black bear was recently seen eating sunflower seeds (Submitted by Greg Shepley)

In the 23 years Greg Shepley has lived on East Parkway Drive across from Ipperwash beach, he's never seen a bear. But for the last ten days, a 300-pound black bear has visited his wooded property nightly.

"When he stands up,he's taller than me, and he's got a huge belly on him like he's been eating very good," said Shepley from the Lambton Shores home he shares with his wife.

The first time Shepley and his wife saw the bear, he stayed for about 40 minutes, eating sunflower seeds out of a bird feeder.

"We were blowing our whistles and yelling at them, and he basically did nothing. He just kept eating."

The couple has since ditched the seed, but the bear keeps coming back anyway. 

Ministry response

Shepley has called the mayor of Lambton Shores and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), looking for help and guidance. But so far, the response has been the same.

"Everybody tells me that unless he destroys our house or attacks us or runs at us, that nobody will do anything unless he causes more problems," he said.

We feel unsafe. We haven't spent any time outside and we're looking over our shoulders and making lots of noise every time we leave.- Greg Shepley

Spokesperson Jolanta Kowalski said the ministry has received multiple reports of a bear in the Lambton Shores area, and has notified the municipality, the Lambton OPP and The Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation.

He said police keep tabs on the situation and, if necessary, will call a MNRF officer to assist in trapping and relocating the bear if there's a safety concern.

Shepley said so far, the bear has just been wandering around his property, but it's still unnerving.

"He did come up on our deck and he was sitting against our patio door at one time until my wife screamed and then he walked away," he said.

"We feel unsafe," said Shepley. "We haven't spent any time outside and we're looking over our shoulders and making lots of noise every time we leave."

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