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Black bear spotted in Markham, Ontario

Tuesday, May 26th 2020, 2:13 pm - The bear was not acting aggressively.

A black bear was spotted wandering a southern Ontario neighbourhood Monday night.

A witness told CP24 that one bear was spotted near Markham's Major Mackenzie Drive and Ninth Line area just after 9:30 p.m.

Police were called and slowly followed the animal around the neighbourhood.

Police said the bear was not acting aggressively and eventually walked out of the neighbourhood and into a nearby green space.

It has not been seen since.

HOW TO AVOID A BEAR ENCOUNTER

  • If you're heading out for a walk or hike, make sure someone knows your plans. Before your trip, leave names, trip plans, and date of return with friends or family.
  • Carry bear spray and a noisemaker. Before leaving home read the instructions. Carry the bear spray in a belt holster or somewhere where you can access it immediately. Do not carry the bear spray inside your backpack.
  • Go with your family, if you are socially distancing together. Bears are less likely to approach people in groups. Check each other's position often and remember that the larger the group, the less likely a bear will hang around.
  • Keep young children close to you. Children can be particularly at risk because they are small and make erratic movements.
  • If you hike with a dog, keep it on a leash. Your dog should be leashed and under control at all times. An unleashed dog can lead an irritated bear back to you and your friends.
  • Make noise. Talk loudly, sing, or let out occasional warning shouts. This will alert bears to your approach so you are less likely to cause a surprise encounter. Remember that other sounds, such as flowing rivers and streams and strong winds, can drown out the noise you make. Be extra noisy at these times.
  • Be alert when in wildlife travel corridors. Rivers and streams, trails, and access routes, are common travel corridors for wildlife, including bears. Be cautious when you are in these areas.
  • Avoid areas with typical bear food sources. These include berry patches, grain fields, garbage pits, beehives, and anywhere you can see an animal carcass.
  • Watch for fresh bear signs. If the signs look like they were made recently, quickly and calmly leave the area. Signs of bear activity include diggings, droppings, fresh carcasses, tracks, overturned rocks, scratched logs, and torn-up ant hills.
  • Watch for crows, ravens, magpies, or jays. These birds often indicate the presence of an animal carcass that may also attract a bear. Avoid being out at dusk, night, or dawn. Although bear encounters can happen at any time of day, bears are most active at dusk, night and dawn.

Thumbnail image courtesy: Getty images.

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