Black bears live in most parts of Ontario. Knowing what to do if you encounter a bear is being Bear Wise.
- Make noise when you move through heavily wooded areas, especially if you are near a stream or waterfall, where bears may not hear you.
- Singing, whistling or talking will alert bears to your presence, giving them a chance to avoid you.
- Keep your eyes and ears open for signs of a bear like tracks, claw marks
on trees or droppings.
- DO NOT wear headphones.
- Be aware of your surroundings, especially if you are doing activities
outside (i.e. hiking, jogging, cycling, gardening, berry picking or camping) where bears may not realize you are there.
- If you are out with a dog, keep it on a leash. Uncontrolled, untrained dogs may actually lead a bear to you.
Think about safety:
- Carry a whistle or air horn.
- Carry and understand how to use bear spray.
- If you are in “back country” consider carrying a long-handled axe.
If you do spot a bear:
- Remain calm and do not run, climb a tree or swim.
- Slowly back away while keeping the bear in sight.
- Watch the bear and wait for it to leave, if it does not leave wave your
arms and make noise.
- If you are near a building or vehicle, get inside as precaution.
What to do if an encounter results in an attack:
- Use bear spray.
- Fight back with everything you have.
- Do not play dead unless you are sure a mother bear is attacking in defence of her cubs.