How to Be Bear Wise?
The Municipality of Whitestone is no stranger to the bear population. That is why it is essential to respect and adhere to many of the guidelines and precautions that the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) wants you to be familiar with. It is crucial that you understand and avoid contact with bears at all costs. Your safety is of utmost importance to us, whether you are a visitor or a resident of the Municipality of Whitestone.
Who to Contact?
As a Municipality, we also want to identify the specific contacts that the MNRF provides, whether in an emergency or non-emergency situation. It is valuable to have the contacts if you are in a situation of a bear sighting or a bear attack.
Call 911 or your local police if a bear poses an immediate threat to personal safety and exhibits threatening or aggressive behaviour, such as:
- enters a school yard when school is in session
- stalks people and lingers at the site
- enters or tries to enter a residence
- wanders into a public gathering
- kills livestock/pets and lingers at the site
Police will respond first to an emergency situation, but may request assistance from the MNRF during daylight hours.
Call the toll-free Bear Wise reporting line at 1-866-514-2327 (TTY 705-945-7641 ) if a bear:
- roams around or checks garbage cans
- breaks into a shed where garbage or food is stored
- is in a tree
- pulls down a bird feeder or knocks over a barbecue
- moves through a backyard or field but does not linger
This line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from April 1 to November 30.
Please Take Community Action.
To make sure the residents and visitors of the Municipality of Whitestone are safe, it takes a whole community to do their part and to help prevent conflicts with bears. Make sure you are doing your part, but also make sure you keep your neighbours accountable as well.
Here are some things you can do to help your community:
- share the MNRF Bear Wise tips with your neighbours
- start a conversation about how you can work together to prevent conflicts with bears (for example, if you or your neighbour are storing garbage outside, make sure it is in a secure area)
More Information About Being Bear Wise.
MNRF has more information on this topic. The following links will take you to introductory videos, MNRF Be Bear Wise tips, and the Government of Ontario Be Bear Wise website. Please take a look at these following links:
Be Bear Wise Website: https://www.ontario.ca/page/prevent-bear-encounters-bear-wise
Be Bear Wise Tips : https://www.ontario.ca/page/bear-wise-tips-and-tools