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Manitouwadge home invaded by bear seeking midnight snack

A Manitouwadge family is feeling very lucky this week after a close encounter with a bear in their home.

Danielle Cooke and her husband awoke to find a bear in their kitchen — and he came back the following night

Manitouwadge resident Danielle Cooke's kitchen, after a bear a bear on the hunt for food when through. Her two small dogs started barking about 4 a.m. and alerted the family. (Danielle Cooke)
Talk about an unwelcome visitor! Danielle Cooke of Manitouwadge, her husband and dogs were rudely woken up by a big black bear. 8:50
A Manitouwadge family is feeling very lucky this week after a close encounter with a bear in their home.

Danielle Cooke says she and her husband were awakened when their two dogs began barking.

What Cooke and her husband initially thought was a home intruder, turned out to be a black bear helping himself to the contents of their kitchen.

"This is Manitouwadge, we live with bears, we always have bears, it's just a normal part of life," she said.
Danielle Cooke and her husband woke to find a bear in their kitchen in Manitouwadge. (Danielle Cooke)

"But I have never had one in the house ... He totally destroyed my kitchen ... He had strewn the garbage all over the place it was just insane."

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Bear Wise spokesperson Karen Passmore told CBC News there has been an increase in bear reports in the Wawa area.

Passmore pointed to the poor berry season in the area as a reason bears may be coming into towns.

Cooke said the offending bear returned to her home the following night, but this time her door was securely locked.

"I called bear wise and they said ... he's obviously a problem bear. So they told me to call 911," Cooke said.

"Within seconds [of making that call] the police were there ... They patrolled on foot and drove in the car looking for it. I don't know if they shot it ... all I know is that about an hour or so later we heard a shot ... and [the bear] hasn't come back."

It only takes 'one property'

Passmore noted that, as bears look for alternative sources of food, unsecured garbage continues to be a significant attractant for bears in the Manitouwadge and White River areas.

"Bears will lose their natural fear of people when they get used to finding non-natural sources of food, like garbage," Passmore said in an email to CBC News.

"It takes only one property where attractants are not managed carefully to draw bears to a neighbourhood. Everyone must work together to keep bears in the wild where they belong."

If a bear poses an immediate threat to personal safety, Passmore added, the first call is always 911 or the local police services.

Local police services or the OPP are always the first responder for any emergency situation, including:

  • Entering a school yard when school is in session
  • Stalking people and lingering at the site
  • Entering or trying to enter a residence
  • Wandering into a public gathering
  • Killing livestock/pets and is lingering at the site

Passmore said people can call the toll-free Bear Wise reporting line at 1-866-514-2327 if a black bear is:

  • Roaming around, checking garbage cans
  • Breaking into a shed where garbage or food is stored
  • In a tree
  • Pulling down a bird feeder or knocking over a barbecue
  • Moving through a backyard or field but is not lingering

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