Penetanguishene residents urged to be Bear Wise after bear sighting

bear in penetang

Members of the Southern Georgian Bay Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to a Harriet Street, Penetanguishene home after the owner contacted the OPP Communication Centre at approximately 2:42 p.m. November 14, 2022 about a bear on the property. Responding officers have located a young black bear up in the homeowners rear yard tree and are currently working with Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) officers and Huronia Animal Control to resolve the situation.

Officers at scene are asking pedestrians and onlookers to avoid the area of Harriet Street (between Edward Street and Thompsons Road) as neighbours to the location are being asked to keep pets indoors and to avoid their back yards until the bear can be safely removed from property.

The OPP and MNRF would like to remind residents that black bears live in most parts of Ontario. Most human-bear encounters occur when bears are attracted by smells, so removing potential attractants will help avoid unwarranted visitors. Knowing what to do if you come across a bear - and keeping your property free of bear attractants - is being Bear Wise.

Avoid encounters:

  • Bears have a keen sense of smell and excellent hearing however their eyesight is limited so it is important to make noise when you move through heavily wooded areas which will alert the bear to your presence.
  • Singing, whistling or talking will alert bears to your presence, giving them a chance to avoid you.
  • Keep your eyes and ears open for signs of a bear like tracks, claw marks on trees or droppings.
  • DO NOT wear headphones.
  • Be aware of your surroundings, especially if you are doing activities outside (i.e. hiking, jogging, cycling, gardening, berry picking or camping) where bears may not realize you are there.
  • If you are out with a dog, keep it on a leash. Uncontrolled, untrained dogs may actually lead a bear to you.

If you do spot a bear:

  • Slowly back away while keeping the bear in sight.
  • If you are near a building or vehicle, get inside as precaution.
  • Notify the police.

This time of year sees more bears coming into urban areas in search of food, but not every bear sighting is an emergency situation. MNRF staff work closely with OPP officers by supporting them with training on how to effectively deal with bears. 

Call 911 or your local police service if a bear poses an immediate threat to personal safety. In non-emergency encounters, call the toll-free Bear Wise Reporting line at  1-866-514-2327 (TTY 705-945-7641) for advice on dealing with bears in the community and to report bear sightings.

Please view the attached links for more information about bears and how to prevent encounters.

Visit ontario.ca/bearwise for more information