The latest statistics from the province indicate the addition of two bear technicians in the Sudbury District is paying off.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says the number of bear nuisance calls is down by 60 per cent compared to last year.

This past year, 700 notifications were received by the ministry.

Sudbury MPP Glenn Thibeault says the Sudbury District will have additional bear technician support next spring.

Over the past five years, he says the area has had the highest number of calls to the Bear Wise reporting line.

“I look forward to continuing to work with the Sudbury Bear Committee which includes the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Greater Sudbury Police Service and the City of Greater Sudbury in making people aware of the preventable causes of human-bear encounters in Ontario and keeping people safe,” said Thibeault, in a media release issued on Tuesday.

The ministry says the technicians assisted local police in handling nuisance bear encounters, while also engaging and educating the public on proper ways of managing bear attractants to avoid human-bear encounters.

“The decrease in calls can be attributed to a great abundance of natural summer food in 2017 (i.e. berries) as well as action taking by the public to reduce and prevent attractants on their properties and in their communities,” said Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.