News release

How to Avoid Bear Encounters

Hibernation has ended and young bears straying from their mothers may enter neighbourhoods, so Nova Scotians should know how to respond.

“Hundreds of nuisance bear reports come in to our department each year and we want Nova Scotians to know they can help reduce the problem of bear encounters by following certain precautions,” said Charlie Parker, Minister of Natural Resources.
“Bears are an important species in our province but all wildlife should be treated with respect and caution to avoid danger so we urge people to check the DNR website for things they can, and should, do.”

To prevent bear incidents and learn what to do when a bear is seen, visit novascotia.ca/natr .

The department’s wildlife specialists say food odours or accessible food can attract bears. Bears will search far and wide for food, following odours into backyards. They are attracted to garbage, compost, green bins, pet food, and bird feeders. Keeping garbage inside or storing it in bear-proof containers, and keeping barbecue grills free of grease and food particles can prevent bear encounters. Campers and hikers also should take precautions to avoid attracting bears.

Bear encounters can pose risks to people and property, and can also harm the animal.

Bear sightings in residential communities and near homes should be reported to the Department of Natural Resources. Trained staff will determine the appropriate action. During business hours, call a local Natural Resources office. A list of office contact numbers is available at www.gov.ns.ca/natr/staffdir/offices.asp .

After hours and on weekends and holidays, call toll free, 1-800-565-2224.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Hibernation has ended and young bears may stray from their mothers into neighbourhoods, so Nova Scotians should know how to respond.

Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker says bears are a valued species but should be treated with respect and caution to stay safe.

He urges people to check the department’s website for safety tips.

People should keep garbage inside or use bear-proof containers, and keep barbecue grills free of grease and food particles.

Bear sightings near communities should be reported to the Department of Natural Resources.

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Media Contact:

Bruce Nunn
902-424-5239 E-mail: