Ottawa police warn of bear sighting in Kanata

Some residents in Kanata North woke up to a furry visitor Sunday morning.

A black bear was reportedly spotted in the ravine behind houses on Best Way near Teron Road, in the Beaverbrook area.

This is not the first sighting of wildlife in the area, close to the NCC Greenbelt. Foxes, coyotes and skunks are commonplace in the area; however, bears are not.

Anne-Marie Smith and her partner Peter say they are not surprised about the bear sighting. They have lived in the area for 40 years and have seen a lot of wildlife.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Smith said. “You know we have all these homes being built and apartments close by, the bears are running out of places to live, so it did surprise me.”

This sighting comes on the heels of coyote sightings in the Hunt Club area. Last week, residents reported losing pets and had taken to filling in what appears to be entrances for coyote just feet from homes. 

With many people planning to venture into the woods this Thanksgiving weekend, the NCC has a few safety tips on how you can reduce the risk of encountering a black bear, which usually just wants to avoid humans:

  • Travel in groups
  • Do not feed animals
  • Avoid attracting bears with the smell of food
  • Never approach a bear; keep your distance (100 metres or about 330 feet)
  • Leave the area if you see signs that bears are nearby (such as scat/droppings, torn up logs, overturned rocks and so on)
  • If you’re walking your dog, make sure it’s on leash at all times.

“Police are in the area and residents are asked to be cautious if a bear is encountered,” said a statement from police.

Residents can call Ottawa Police at 613-236-1222 or 911 if a bear is endangering safety.

Two weekends ago, a warning was issued for a bear in the Old Quarry Trail area of Kanata.

Map for reference purposes.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU SEE A BEAR

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says if you encounter a black bear here’s what you should do:

  • Slowly back away while keeping the bear in sight and wait for it to leave.
  • Throw objects, wave your arms and make noise with a whistle, air horn or yelling if the bear does not leave.
  • Prepare to use bear spray
  • Get inside a building or vehicle, if you are nearby, as a precaution
  • Drop any food you may be carrying and slowly move away
  • Leave a bear alone if it is in a tree. Leave the area. The bear will come down when it feels safe.
  • Play dead only if you encounter a mother bear with cubs

If you encounter a black bear, do not:

  • Run, climb a tree or swim
  • Kneel down
  • Make direct eye contact
  • Approach the bear to get a better look
  • Attempt to feed a bear
  • Let your dog off its leash
  • Play dead unless you are attacked by a mother bear defending her cubs

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