SUDBURY -- Reports of aggressive bears chasing residents in areas of Timmins has prompted police to issue a warning to the public to be careful.

Timmins Police Service have received complaints about incidents of bears chasing people in the Dalton Road area. The Terry Fox Trail System in the Dalton Road area is closed for the time-being as a precautionary measure.

Similar reports have come from the Rea Street South area.

Police, working with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, urge residents to be cautious.

"While bears typically have a timid disposition, the nature of these recent encounters underline the need for the public to be aware that persons who venture out onto trails or roadways at or in the nearby vicinity of the city’s tree line need to keep proper safety precautions in mind," police said in a news release Wednesday.

"The Timmins police urge that nature enthusiasts consider using other trail systems in the short term."

Bear trap deployed

A bear trap device has been deployed by the MNRF in the area of Middleton Street and Dalton Road in the hopes of capturing the aggressive bruin.

"A young bear had been successfully trapped and relocated earlier in the week as a result of this deployed trap," police said.

"Officials with the MNRF are aware of an abundance of natural food sources in the Dalton Road area which is likely the attractant for the bears frequenting this particular area."

In addition to avoiding those areas where bears have been reported, police said pets being walked in this area should remain on a leash, in keeping with Bear Wise guidance and the stipulations of existing Mattagami Region Conservation Authority Regulations.

Should you encounter a black bear, police say to remember that quite often, the animals are caught off guard by the encounter and become stressed, and usually elect to flee the area.

Remain calm

"If such an encounter happens, the best course of action is to simply come to a stop and remain calm," police said. "Slowly back away while keeping the bear in sight and wait for it to leave."

If the bear does not leave, throw objects, wave your arms and make noise with a whistle or air horn. If you are so equipped, prepare to use bear spray.

Cyclists on trail systems are encouraged to use signaling devices (horns or bells) every so often to alert any bear of their presence as bears will likely leave the area before close proximity occurs.

If you are near a building or vehicle, get inside as a precautionary measure. Drop any food you may be carrying and slowly move away from the area.

If a bear is in a tree, leave it alone. Vacate the area. The bear will come down when it feels safe to do so.

"It is further recommended that, if confronted by a bear, the person confronted should not run from the area but leave in a calm manner," police said. "It is further recommended that persons confronted with a bear not kneel down, make direct eye contact, or approach the bear for any purpose."

The Timmins Police Service and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry recommend that persons who indulge in hiking, cycling or walking their pets seek out the advice provided at the following website to enhance their own safety

For those persons who do not have internet access, the Timmins Police Service reminds all citizens that incidents of this nature are extremely rare and their severity can be significantly diminished by following the guidance provided by means of the Bear Wise reporting line at 1-866-514-2327.