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Close encounters of the "bear" kind

Roaming bears led to hairy situations in Ontario and New Brunswick

Roaming bears led to hairy situations in Ontario and New Brunswick


Rodrigo Cokting
Staff writer

Sunday, October 13, 2013, 5:06 PM -

A Thunder Bay couple were naturally concerned when they spotted a bear heading into a residential area.

But the surprise for them, is what came next. The couple tried calling the 211 community information number and were told to call Ontario's Bear Wise number. Once the operator was informed that the bear was moving into the city, the couple was instructed to call 911. 

One phone call to 911 later, and the Thunder Bay residents were asked to call the Bear Wise number instead.

James Taylor, the man that spotted the bear is unhappy with how the situation was handled, saying that city services don't seem to have a clear sense of how to handle such a situation. 


One bear-y brave man

A man in New Brunswick had a close call with a bear he's not soon to forget.

Gilles Cyr was walking through the woods when a black animal began running toward him. 

Cyr says that by the time he opened his eyes and realized what was happening, the bear was on top of him.

The bears mouth was wide open in front of Cyr's face and he says the last thing he remembers was grabbing the animals tongue with his hand. 

Cyr eventually managed to climb a tree to escape, but not before the animal injured him in the stomach and one of his knees. 

He was treated at a local hospital for superficial wounds. 


Here are some helpful tips in case you ever encounter a bear.

Here are some helpful tips in case you ever encounter a bear.

What to do if you encounter a bear 

Encountering bears is not as rare as one might think and it's always important to be prepared and know what to do. 

  • Never feed or approach bears. When bears begin to associate food with humans, they lose their natural fear of humans. 
  • Always look ahead when in the woods to see if you spot any wild animals. Try not to be quiet when walking around the wilderness. It's possible you could walk close to a bear and end up surprising it. 
  • Make sure to never walk toward dead animals. Bears are scavengers and can often approach carcasses. Keep an eye out for crows or ravens! That might be a clue that there is a dead animal nearby.
  • It's important to remember that despite their bulky size, bears are very agile animals. They can be as fast as horse uphill or downhill. They are also strong swimmers and have great eyesight. 
  • If it is standing up, that means its trying to identify you. Talk slowly and move away, keeping an eye on the animal. If a bear is running toward you, do not play dead. Instead try to escape to a secure place like a car. If you have no other options trying to intimidate the bear with weapons such as branches.

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