April 30, 2019 8:41 am

Bear sighting in Middlesex Centre prompts safety reminder

Officials with the municipality of Middlesex Centre say a black bear was spotted near Denfield, Ont.

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Officials with the municipality of Middlesex Centre are reminding residents to be “Bear Wise” after a black bear was spotted near Denfield, Ont.

The notice was posted to Facebook on Monday afternoon and officials say the Ministry of Natural Resources has been notified of the bear that was sighted in the area northwest of Ilderton.

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In order to be “Bear Wise,” officials say you should remain calm and avoid panicking in the event that you encounter a bear.

People are advised to slowly back away while keeping the bear in sight and waiting for it to leave.

If the bear does not take off, you should throw objects, wave your arms and make noise with a whistle or air horn, if those items are accessible.

Police should be contacted if a bear poses an immediate threat to personal safety and exhibits threatening or aggressive behaviour. The 24/7 Bear Wise reporting line can also be contacted for non-emergency encounters at 1-866-514-2327.

Officials add that killing a bear in self-defence must be an action of last resort.

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