A number of bears have been spotted around the Lake this year including on decks and checking out cars. A lot of these sitings have been reported to the MNR. Two of our board members just had a conference call with the MNR at their request to have discussions around what we need to do. The following points were discussed:
POSSIBLE REASONS THAT WE ARE SEEING MORE BEARS THIS YEAR
1. The last two years have been stellar natural food years for the bears and have resulted in more bears surviving hibernation in good shape and more cubs being born.
2. There are more people at their cottages at this time of year due to COVID-19 and therefore there are more non-natural food attractions for the bears (see below)
3. The landfill has been changed to a total transfer station this year.
THE THING ABOUT BEARS!
1. We are naturally in bear country! Bears pass through looking for food every year.
2. Bears are totally food focused.
3. If bears are rewarded with access to food, they will stick around. If there is no food they will move on.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
1. Be diligent about removing food sources.
– don’t store garbage or recycle for long period of times and when you store it keep it in an air tight lockable container or locked in your garage or shed. Go to the dump often (when it is open- don’t leave at gate).
– remove bird feeders of all kinds (suet, seeds and liquid)
– keep your barbecue clean
– remove ripe fruit from trees and especially from ground
– don’t leave car windows open with food of any kind inside
– don’t compost this time of year
– keep all pet food inside the cottage
2. If you have a bear that is hanging around, scare it by using one of the following:
– banging pots
– blaring car horn or air horn
– blow a whistle
– purchase bear bangers (produce a loud noise that bears do not like)
Let’s be diligent and encourage the bears to move on. Pass the information on to any neighbours that may not have got the message.
The MNR will not remove the bears unless they become aggressive and are breaking into cottages because that does not solve the source of the problem and the bears will return to where they get rewarded.