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Bear sightings…oh my!

District 16 (Rockingham – Wentworth) Councillor Debbie Hum said today she is receiving numerous reports of bear sightings in her district and has also heard of similar sightings in the Bedford area.

A bear was reported in backyards on Saskatoon Drive and also in the Prince’s Lodge neighbourhood near Hemlock Ravine Park.

It is not known if it is the same black bear. Reported sightings also indicate it could be a mother bear and her cub.

With these sightings so close to residential neighbourhoods, parks and schools Councillor Hum said she and the residents who have contacted her are concerned.

“Residents need to know that there is at least one bear roaming in a broad area, and it doesn’t appear shy to approach residences,” said Councillor Hum, whose district is home to Hemlock Ravine Park, Kearney Lake and Birch Cove Lakes, and large tracks of private lands including forested and wilderness areas.

The provincial Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has responsibility for investigating problem bear situations.

DNR reports that bears can be attracted to garbage, compost, pet food, bird feeders and barbeque grills that are not properly cleaned.

Bear sightings in residential communities and near homes should be reported to DNR, where trained staff will determine the appropriate action.

During business hours, call the local Natural Resources office in Waverley at 861-2560. After hours, on weekends and holidays, call toll free 1-800-565-2224.

To learn more about how to prevent bear incidents, what to do and who to call when you see a black bear, visit the Natural Resource’s website at www.gov.ns.ca/natr/wildlife/nuisance/bears.asp.

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