– Remain calm. Do not run. Stand still and talk to the bear in a calm voice
– Arm your pepper spray
– Do not try to get closer to the bear
– If the bear does not get closer to you, slowly back away, talking to the bear in a quiet, monotone voice. Do not scream, turn your back on the bear, run, kneel down or make direct eye contact
– Watch the bear and wait for it to leave
– If the bear does not leave or approaches you, yell and wave your arms to make yourself look bigger. Throw objects, blow a whistle or an air horn. The idea is to persuade the bear to leave
– If you are with others, stay together and act as a group. Make sure the bear has a clear escape route
– If the bear keeps advancing, and is getting close, stand your ground. Use your bear pepper spray (if the bear is within seven metres) or anything else you can find or use to threaten or distract the bear
– Do not run or climb a tree
Black bear attacks are extremely rare. A black bear may attack if:
– It perceives you to be a threat to it, its cubs or it may be defending food. This is a defensive bear that wants more space between you and it. Such attacks are exceedingly rare although a bear’s aggressive display may seem to suggest otherwise
– It is a predatory bear. These bears are also very rare. Predatory attacks usually occur in rural or in remote areas. Predatory bears approach silently, and may continue to approach regardless of your attempts to deter them by yelling or throwing rocks
What to do if an encounter results in an attack:
– Use your pepper spray
– Fight back with everything you have
Do not play dead except in the rare instance when you are sure a mother bear is attacking you in defense of cubs.
The Bear Reporting Centre is in place to:
– Help educate people about bears and how they can prevent problems.
– Give the public access to a live call taker who can provide advice and information on dealing with problems.
– Direct matters that require follow up to the right Ministry of Natural Resources office.
– Enable the public to report: - bear problems - bears killed in defence of property - tagged bears that have been killed for the purpose of human consumption.
If your call results in an occurrence a Bear Wise representative will:
– Help you determine what attracted the bear to your property and provide advice on how you can prevent problems.
– Forward your call to your local Ministry of Natural Resources Office. Staff there will follow up by telephone or in person usually within 24 hours.
Most bear problems can be averted by people. Remove or control things known to attract bears. This will keep people safe and bears wild. Trapping, relocating or killing bears does not keep bears out of your neighbourhood. As long as attractants are present, bears will come.
If your personal safety is threatened, you are urged to call your local police or 911.
IN AN IMMEDIATE EMERGENCY:
Contact your local police force or dial 911
TO REPORT BEAR PROBLEMS:
Contact the Bear Reporting Line at the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources:
1-866-514-2327 (TTY) 705 945-7641