Welcome to BEAR With Us!
Bear With Us Sanctuary and Rehabilitation Centre for Bears
Bear With Us Mission:To promote the understanding and respect for the bear family, a species near the top of the evolutionary scale, a species in direct niche competition with the human race.
Fulfilling the mission: The four primary areas of operation for Bear With Us are:
1-Black Bear Rehabilitation; orphaned bear cubs and injured bears cared for and returned to the wild in a high state of health.
2-Bear Sanctuary; various species; A comfortable place to stay for permanent non-releasable bears such as ex-circus bears, zoo excess or illegal pet confiscations.
3-Education; (a)-Off location slide/video presentations for groups at Provincial Parks, schools, cub and guides, other young people’s groups, nature clubs and more. (b)-Comprehensive website, Facebook page and a special educational Facebook page for Molly Bear. (c)-One on one phone conversations and email responses to individuals with questions regarding bears.
4-Conflict Resolution; Assisting people and bears to coexist together. Individual consultation with people about how not to encourage or discourage a nuisance bear by removing food attractants, live trapping and relocating individual bears when other potential solutions have been exhausted.
“For twenty one years (2013) I have worked with adult wild black bears that are victims of hunting, automobile and other injuries, assisted orphan cubs until old enough to be returned to the wild and worked with home owners regarding perceived nuisance bears. This work has allowed me the privilege to observe the many varied reactions to human interference exhibited by the bears. What I find incredible is a bear’s ability for exhibiting restraint.” …Mike McIntosh
Each year Bear With Us is required to renew Ministry of Natural Resources Authorizations. a) Keep captive, rehabilitate and return black bears to the wild. b) Keep black bears permanently in captivity. c) Act as an agent when working to resolve human/bear conflicts such as live trapping and relocating a bear.
We sincerely hope you find this website informative and a good resource.
Bear With Us in the news - From the Huntsville Forester. Page -A2 THE FORESTER, Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Private organization ﬁlls in where government cuts back
Residents reminded to be bear aware!
By Tamara de la Vega
As spring hits and bears awaken from their long winter slumber, residents are reminded to be bear aware and avoid attracting bears onto their properties.
That means bear proofing your garbage, cleaning your barbecues thoroughly after every use and expecting bear visits if you’ve got bird feeders — especially ones low to the ground.
With cutbacks to the Ministry Natural Resources, residents fearing a wayward bear are often left to fend for themselves, unless there is an immediate threat, in which case they are told to call police. But if residents educate themselves and take the right precautions, bear encounters should be very rare. Just ask Mike McIntosh of Bear With Us, a bear sanctuary and rehabilitation centre formed in 1992.
Bear With Us is located in Sprucedale, and the organization recently received an $80,000 Aviva grant, which will help McIntosh ramp up his services, which aim to educate people about bears and provide a safe place for bears with the hopes of rehabilitating them
back into the wild. The good news is that with the grant, McIntosh will be able to assist with more bear encounters and give more educational talks about how to avoid attracting bears.
McIntosh is thankful for the community support. Bear With Us was selected for the grant thanks to votes from the community and endorsement by Hutcheson, Reynolds and Caswell insurance brokers. He is also thankful to Aviva. He says he was not aware that
so many local people were voting for his organization through social media, “so it
was very moving.”
McIntosh grew up on a farm in southwestern Ontario, where he enjoyed canoeing and photographing wildlife. A love and respect of the natural environment, especially that of Algonquin Provincial Park and a keen interest of large mammals, specifically bears, is what brought him to the area. In 1991 he received a phone call from a friend that would set in motion the eventual creation of Bear With Us. She was calling from Brampton, and said she knew of a person that had shot a bear leaving two orphaned cubs. “The situation surrounding the orphaning of the cubs was sad and the need to shoot the mother bear was not there, a case of misunderstanding bear behavior,” he explained.
McIntosh took the cubs to Audrey Tournay, who at the time operated Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. He helped care for the cubs and eventually returned them back to the wild. It was with Tournay’s encouragement that he formed Bear With Us and to date he has returned 329 orphaned and injured bears to the wild. He’s also provided a home to Molly and Yogi, two bears who were formerly used in a circus. They’ve been with him for 18 years.
“Of great importance is education, allowing people to learn about bears and bear behavior,” he states, adding that he’s been talking to people about bears through nature clubs, schools, cub/scout organizations and provincial parks, among other venues, for 20 years.
He is authorized by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to care for, and release to the wild, injured and orphaned bears, live trap and relocate bears when absolutely necessary. He’s been trained by the MNR on dealing with problem bears.
He speaks highly of MNR staff who he has gotten to know over the years.
“The Ministry of Natural Resources has an excellent bear coexistence and educational
source called Bear Wise,” he notes. You can find the site at http:// www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/bearwise/index.html.
McIntosh says sometimes a bear becomes a nuisance because it keeps returning to a particular site, which it has come to associate with food. In instances like that, he attempts to *live trap the bear and relocate it to areas approved by the Ministry.
For more information about Bear With Us, visit the organization’s website at www.bearwithus.org or call 705-685-7830.
* After the food has been removed and the bear continues to come around.
More Recent News -
June is here. Bears including mothers with cubs are looking for food and finding very little.This is normal and part of the food cycle for a bear. They have existed on salad foods such as grass and tree leaf buds. When the berries ripen the bears will be able to replenish some of the body fat they have used up since emerging from the den. Please make sure your bird feeders are put away and your food garbage is stored securely. June and July is also the time when bears mate and a time when yearling cubs and the mother become independent of each other.