Hungry bear encounter worries Sudbury homeowner

It's just the beginning of nuisance bear season, and Sudbury Police have already received 55 calls about bears across the city.

One Sudbury family thought they were 'Bear-Wise', yet a bear went to extreme measures to get at their garbage

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      It's just the beginning of nuisance bear season, and Sudbury Police have already received 55 calls about bears across the city.

      That's compared to 47 at this time last year.

      Police say they should only be called when there is a public safety issue with the animal.

      So what happened early Monday morning when a bear tore off part of a door on Birch Hill Road, to get at garbage inside the garage?

      Homeowner Chrissy Groulx called the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. She was told they would only trap the bear if they were told by police to do so.

      "I'm assuming that if the bear were to cause more damage or be aggressive towards one of us, I'm sure in that case they would," Groulx told CBC News.

      "But he said it was under very extreme circumstances, so I doubt we'll be seeing a trap anytime soon."

      Some bears are just more determined than others to get to your garbage. That was the case for a family in Sudbury who's garage door was destroyed by a bear who wanted to get to the garbage stored there. The CBC's Angela Gemmill spoke with the homeowner. 4:33

      Groulx said this isn't the first time bears have been on her street, despite her best efforts to bear-proof.

      She's concerned about the safety of her six-year-old daughter.

      "We always have our eye on her. You just have to be really careful, 'cause you just don't know when they're going to be around," she said.

      "Last year we came home to four bears on her swing set, so they just seem to get a little bit more brave every year."

      MNRF spokesperson Heather Pridham says people need "to store ... garbage in a bear resistant, air-tight container inside a storage area that's not accessible to bears."

      Most of us know how to keep bears away — but what if they go to extremes to get at garbage? (Guy Chamberland)

      Groulx thought she'd done that — and she says she and all her neighbours follow the ministry's bear-wise tips.

      Groulx is worried about the bear returning.

      Inspector Michael Chapman with Greater Sudbury Police explains who to call and when.

      "Notify the MNRF that there's a bear in the area and the police should be reserved for those circumstances — which are rare — where the bear poses a risk to public safety."

      Have you had problems with nuisance bears this spring?

      with files from Angela Gemmill. Edited/packaged by Wendy Bird.


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