Dead Bear On Petawawa Blvd: Messages From MNR & OPP

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An unfortunate scene in Petawawa on the weekend is a reminder that wild animals are on the move. 

A dead young bear was noticed by several passersby on Petawawa Boulevard, just west of Murphy Road, early Saturday morning.  

The OPP tells Pure Country 96.7 it's believed the animal had been hit by a vehicle just before midnight on Friday night.

A crew from the County of Renfrew was dispatched just before 8 a.m. Saturday and the animal was removed. 

It's not unusual to see bears in the areas near the former Petawawa Township.

There have been many sightings over the years in the vicinity of this incident, and along the nearby Laurentian Drive corridor, which is bordered by a wooded area and Petawawa Terrace Provincial Park (the old Fish Hatchery property).

However, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says the late ripening of food sources this year may be leading to more of the animals exploring semi-urban areas for food. 

"Small bears seen at this time of year are probably yearlings that have been recently forced away from their mothers and are looking for a territory of their own", the MNRF's Jolanta Kowalski told Pure Country 96.7.

"We are also right in the midst of the bears breeding season so adults, particularly males, will be moving extensively".

The number of calls to the Bear Wise Hotline is not up this year compared to previous years.

What To Do 

The OPP provided this information about encounters with bears:

The public is reminded that black bears that come into a populated area aren’t always a threat to public safety. The following explains who to contact about encounters with bears.

Emergency Situations

CALL 911 if a black bear poses an immediate threat to personal safety by exhibiting threatening or aggressive behavior, such as:

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

Ontario Provincial Police are the first responder in the Upper Ottawa Valley for any emergency situation. At the request of the police, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry will respond to emergency situations to assist.

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 until Nov. 30. Trained staff can provide advice to you about black bear behaviour, how to avoid human-bear conflicts, and how to remove attractants from your property.