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Doorbell video shows family of black bears scared off by dog in Sudbury, Ont.


A Sudbury woman said her husband was bringing the recycling out to the curb Wednesday night when he had to make a "mad dash" inside after seeing a bear.

It is springtime in northern Ontario and that means hungry bears are out of hibernation and looking for food.

Mama black bear stands on hind legs trying to get cub out of tree on Selkirk Street in Sudbury. April 10, 2024 (Christina Carmichael)

The Sudbury bear sighting reporting map shows the animals have been seen in the last couple of weeks all around the city, with a majority of sightings in the New Sudbury area of town this week.

Christina Carmichael's outdoor security camera captured a video of a mama bear and her three cubs on Selkirk Street in the Donovan area at 8:37 p.m. April 10.

The video shows the family of animals walking up her driveway toward the house and when her dog starts to bark, the bears run away and one cub climbs the bare tree in the front yard.

That is when Carmichael's husband Rob brought their blue box out to the street, not seeing the cub in the tree until he was at the curb.

"How Rob didn't run into momma, I'll never know," Christina said.

"Where there's a cub, there's a momma."

She is crediting her two-year-old Sheepadoodle Blue with scaring the bears away with his bark.

Blue, the two-year-old Sheepadoodle scared off a family of bears approaching his house in Sudbury. (Christina Carmichael)

While living in bear country, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry tells dog owners to check the yard before letting their pets outside and keep an eye on them.

"Keep your dog on a leash … be aware that unleashed dogs can cause defensive black bear attacks on people," the MNRF said.

"Unleashed dogs returning to their owners can cause a chase response that may lead a bear back to the owner."

The City of Greater Sudbury collects bear sighting information -- which can be reported online, by calling 705-674-4455 ext BEAR, or by email at – to determine patterns and intensity, but does not respond.

Non-emergency bear encounters can be reported to the MNRF at 1-866-514-2327.

If a bear poses an immediate threat to personal safety and exhibits threatening or aggressive behaviour, MNRF said to call 911 or local police.

Emergency bear encounters include entering a schoolyard when class is in session, stalking people and lingering at a site, entering or trying to enter a residence, wandering into a public gathering or killing pets or livestock and lingers at the site.

"Generally, the noisier the bear is, the less dangerous it is, provided you do not approach. The noise is meant to 'scare' you off and acts as a warning signal," the MNRF said on its Bear Wise website.

"Stop, do not panic and remain calm."

Here are some tips to use during a bear encounter:

  • Slowly back away while keeping the bear in sight and wait for it to leave
  • Throw objects, wave your arms and make noise if the bear doesn't leave
  • Drop any food you may be carrying and slowly move away
  • Leave a bear alone if it is in a tree, it will come down when it feels safe

Things to avoid during a bear encounter:

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

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