Sudbury

Bear encounters: who to call and when

A bear found roaming in a suburb north of Toronto this week has garnered national attention and a Sudbury woman, who saw a bear wandering in her neighbourhood is wondering who to contact when a bear is spotted.

Sudbury Police say so far, bear calls in 2015 down compared to 2014

A Sudbury woman recently spotted a bear, like the one shown in this file photo, wandering in her neighbourhood. (Guy Chamberland)

A bear found roaming in a suburb north of Toronto this week has garnered national attention and a Sudbury woman, who saw a bear wandering in her neighbourhood is wondering who to contact when a bear is spotted.

Kellie Doyle said she recently saw a bear on her street.

"I was concerned," she said. "It's a very busy street and there [are] a lot of young kids."

Doyle went to contact the authorities, but said the process of who to call was confusing.

"I called the city and got put through to ten different lines," she said. "You kind of have that sense of urgency.

So far this year, the bear Doyle spotted is one of the few reported to authorities. Sudbury Police said there have been 90 bear sightings reported to them this year alone. In 2014, police said 400 calls were made.

Staff Sergeant Craig Maki said usually, a call to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry should be made when a bear is spotted, unless people are feeling unsafe.

"Ultimately, if it's an issue of public safety, then it only makes sense for the public to give us a call and at least assess the situation," he said.

"If the person is concerned and there is a safety issue, then absolutely call us."

Adriana Pacitto, an assistant outreach specialist with the MNRF, said not to hesitate to phone police or 911 in an emergency situation involving a bear.

"That could be a situation like entering a schoolyard when school is in session, or trying to enter somebody's residence," she explained.

"A non-threatening or emergency situation would be simply when a bear is lingering a round, roaming around your neighbourhood, checking out garbage cans."

Non-urgent bear calls can be made to the MNRF Bear Wise reporting line at 1-866-514-2327.

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