A local food shortage is causing an increase in human-bear activity.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says parts of Ontario are experiencing shortages of natural food sources for bears with the Muskoka District experiencing berry crop failure and shortages in nut crops.
Bears rely on berry, acorn and beech nut crops to fatten up for hibernation and will travel great distances to find alternate sources of food when natural foods are poor or unavailable.
Because of the shortage, the district is seeing an increase in reports of problem bears as bears search for alternate sources of food.
The MNRF is urging residents and cottagers in Muskoka District to take extra care to not attract bears to their neighborhood by removing all bird feeders including humming bird feeders, safely store garbage until pickup day, clean barbecues, don’t leave coolers out, and keep pet food indoors.
If a bear poses an immediate threat to public safety by exhibiting threatening or aggressive behaviour, call 911 or your local police.