For the past few years hungry bears encroaching into urban neighbourhoods and playgrounds has become a more urgent problem.
People report they are afraid to walk their dogs at night, some parents feel they can’t let their kids play in local parks.
With nuisance bears constantly on the prowl, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is expanding staff to deal with bear calls. Local police said they’re glad to hear it.
"We get called often times and it drains our resources,” said Chief Paul Pedersen, Greater Sudbury Police.
“We have to assign resources to try and contain that bear. Hopefully we can get the Ministry of Natural Resources people out to try and re-locate the bear.”
"We as a community still got to work together and do our component by not putting our garbage out at night, not putting out bird feeders. So understanding the education component, we still have a role to play as citizens,” added Glenn Thibeault, Sudbury MPP.
Knowing whether a bear is a threat to public safety can be tricky for residents to assess, which is why the MNRF felt it was necessary to have more technicians at their disposal in case of an emergency .
"They have techniques to use to try and chase bears away from a location,” said Michael Cartan, MNRF Bear Wise program manager.
“But they're trained in chemical immobilization. If a bear is contained, they can try to immobilize the bear and take it away. And there's also the opportunity to educate land owners in that area as well"
Going forward, the MNRF plans to educate the public through enhanced outreach at schools and community events.
In the coming weeks, three Bear Wise billboards will also be plastered across the city, providing contact information for people who spot a bear.