Northumberland OPP are warning the public to take precautions following a black bear cub sighting in the village of Warkworth on Tuesday night.
Officers responded to a report of the bear sighting on Old Hastings Road around 7:30 p.m., however, the bear was not located. Warkworth is about 52 kilometres southeast of Peterborough.
Some residents have posted photos on social media indicating two small bears have been seen in the area over the past few days.
OPP are reminding the public that bears should be treated with caution and respect.
“Female bears with cubs may become aggressive if they feel their cubs are being threatened,” OPP stated.
Police say bears often come into urban areas in search of food and removing potential attractants will “help avoid unwarranted visitors.”
“Generally, bears want to avoid humans. Most encounters are not aggressive and attacks are rare,” police said.
OPP offer the following safety tips to prevent bears from wandering onto property:
- Put garbage out to the curb-side only on the morning of collection
- Put away bird feeders
- Store garbage in waste containers with tight-fitting lids
- Clean outdoor grills after each use, including the grease trap underneath.
If you encounter a bear, OPP advise:
- Remain calm and avoid sudden movements.
- Give the bear plenty of room, allowing it to continue its activities undisturbed. If it changes its behaviour, you’re too close, so back away.
- If you see a bear but the bear does not see you, detour quickly and quietly.
- If a bear does spot you, it is best to talk in a normal voice and wave your arms while it is still further away.
- Never feed or throw food to a bear.
- If a bear pursues you, throw something on the ground, it may be distracted by this and allow you time to escape.
- If you are near a building or vehicle, get inside as a precaution.
- Remember that a standing bear is not always a sign of aggression. Many times bears will stand to get a better view.
If you encounter a bear and your personal safety is threatened, you are urged to call the OPP immediately by dialling 911. For non-emergency encounters, call the toll-free Bear Wise reporting line at 1-866-514-2327 (TTY 705-945-7641) for advice on dealing with bears in the community.
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