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Helping Ontario Be Bear Wise

Archived News Release

Helping Ontario Be Bear Wise

McGuinty Government Connects Callers to A Live Operator During Bear Season

Callers to Ontario's toll-free Bear Wise information and reporting line will now connect directly with a live operator during bear season.

Based on the four cornerstones of reporting, response, prevention, and education and awareness, Bear Wise teaches people about black bears and the known and preventable causes of human-bear conflicts. The program teaches people how to not attract bears to their property and keep bears wild. The bear information and reporting line is a toll-free number available 24 hours a day from April to November. The program also supports the development of local prevention programs, partnerships with police to respond to human-bear incidents, and education and awareness products.

Quick Facts

  • In order to not attract bears, only put garbage out the morning of pick-up, bear-proof your garage, feed birds only in the winter, clean outdoor grills after each use and don’t leave pet food outside.
  • People who have problems with bears can call the toll-free Bear Wise phone line anytime at 1-866-514-BEAR (2327), during bear season. In a life-threatening emergency, call 911 or your local police.

Additional Resources


“Each year, the Bear Wise website and phone line help thousands of people find out more about bears. It is important to know what to do if you encounter a bear, and also how to keep bears from your neighbourhood. We look forward once again to working with our partners to improve community safety and awareness.”

Donna Cansfield

Minister of Natural Resources



Environment and Energy Law and Safety