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Who Do I Call If I Encounter A Bear?

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Who Do I Call If I Encounter A Bear?

Sometimes bears come into urban areas in search of food. Not every bear sighting is an emergency situation. Learn who to call if you encounter a bear:

Non-Emergency Encounters

Call the toll-free Bear Wise reporting line at 1-866-514-2327 (TTY 705-945-7641) if a black bear is:

  • Roaming around, checking garbage cans
  • Breaking into a shed where garbage or food is stored
  • In a tree
  • Pulling down a bird feeder or knocking over a barbecue
  • Moving through a backyard or field but is not lingering

This line operates 24-hours a day, seven days a week, from April 1 to November 30. Staff will provide advice about bear behaviour, how to avoid human-bear interactions and how to remove attractants from your property.

Emergency Situations

Call 911 or your local police force if a bear poses an immediate threat to personal safety by exhibiting threatening or aggressive behaviour, such as:

  • Entering a school yard when school is in session
  • Stalking people and lingering on-site
  • Entering or trying to enter a residence
  • Wandering into a public gathering
  • Killing livestock/pets and lingering on site

Police are the first responder for any emergency situation. If requested by police, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry will respond to emergency situations to assistduring daylight hours.

Visit ontario.ca/bearwise for tips on how to avoid attracting bears and how to prevent human-bear encounters.

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