Parkwood Heights resident says city has a role to play to prevent visits from black bears

A Bathurst woman says she's had enough of living with bears.

Sheri Harvey says she's had problems with bears visiting her Parkwood Heights subdivision property for years, but that over the last four summers it's gotten worse.

She says the Department of Natural Resources has tried catching the bear, who she has named 'Winston', several times but with no success.

Now, it seems Winston's girlfriend has moved into the nearby den with her four cubs.

Harvey says DNR has set a trap near the neighbourhood's elementary school, but adds the City of Bathurst needs to do its part by collecting garbage each week during warmer months rather than biweekly.

She says she keeps her garbage and recycling bins tidy but adds Winston still visits her place four to five times a week over the summer months.

Harvey fears somebody is eventaully going to get hurt and that it's a matter of 'when' rather than 'if'.

DNR, meanwhile, reminds residents that black bears are hungry as they wake up from their winter nap and are looking for a quick, easy meal.

The department says there are several ways to minimize bears trespassing on your property:

  • Wash garbage cans regularly, and using lime or baking soda to reduce odours;
  • Rinse food cans and wrappers before disposal; 
  • Avoid leaving pet food outside;
  • Keep odorous scraps such as meat and fish in your freezer until garbage pickup day;
  • Keep garbage cans in a bear-proof container or in a closed garage until the morning of pickup;
  • Remove bird feeders (especially those with suet) by early April.

The department says these measures are also effective in reducing run-ins with raccoons, skunks, coyotes and foxes which, it says, are a more common nuisance than bears.

Submitted: Sheri Harvey