Two bears caught following sightings in Port Hawkesbury

PORT HAWKESBURY: Residents are being asked to take precautions following a string of bear sightings within the Town of Port Hawkesbury.

A spokesperson for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says they have trapped two bears after receiving reports of sightings roughly two weeks ago.

“We started getting residents’ reports out around the Crandall Road, and then the bears moved closer to town later in the week,” said Bruce Murphy, DNR wildlife technician for Inverness County. “Because there were reports in and around the seniors’ home and getting close to the Tamarac school, we felt they were getting way too close, so we brought the traps in and we set the traps.”

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Murphy said one of the bears has been relocated while the other bear had to be euthanized. He said he cannot say for sure how many bears have been spotted in the town.

“We are actively working on the situation,” said Murphy. “I met with town council and we visited residents.”

Murphy said there is a healthy bear population throughout Inverness County, as well as the rest of Nova Scotia, and it is a busy time of year for bear sightings. He added that there are many ways to prevent problem wildlife from getting too close.

“They are attracted to a food source, and that’s what brings them in, whether it’s dumpsters, bird feeders, compost, barbecues, pet food, agricultural food, we have to clean that up. Once we look after the food sources, the bears will move on,” said Murphy.

Murphy advises residents who have seen a bear to check for items on their property that could be attracting the animals. He also advises residents to spread the word to neighbours and friends to make sure everyone is cleaning up any possible food sources.

During last week’s regular monthly council meeting for the Town of Port Hawkesbury, CAO Terry Doyle said that some residents have been leaving garbage bags beside commercial garbage containers.

“We encourage our stores and commercial operators to call for pickup as soon as their garbage containers are full, and we really request that residents of the town do not leave garbage beside a commercial dumpster. It causes a lot of issues,” said Doyle.

Anyone wishing for further information on how to keep bears away can visit the DNR’s Web site at: novascotia.ca/natr/wildlife/nuisance/bears.asp. The Web site also has information on other problem wildlife including coyotes, foxes, and raccoons. For further advice, residents can contact the DNR.