OTTAWA -- A black bear was spotted out for a Sunday stroll in a field in Stittsville.

"I couldn't believe it. Very rare for me. I've never seen anything like that," said Laurie Viau Gillard in an interview with CTV News Ottawa.

Photos showed the bear in a field in the area of Fernbank Road and Terry Fox Drive around 11 a.m.

"There were three deer and I was wondering what they were running towards and it was a big black bear," said Viau Gilliard.

A video posted on Twitter a few hours later showed a black bear in a field in the area of Terry Fox Drive and Eagleson Road.

News of the black bear in the field was the talk of the neighbourhood Sunday afternoon.

"It does scare me. We have a lot of children in the area," said one resident.

"I'm not really surprised about it, we've seen other wildlife in the area," said another resident in the neighbourhood.

Ottawa police did not receive any calls about the bear. Police advise people not to approach the animal, and if it enters a residential area to call police.

Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources offers the following tips if you encounter a bear:

  • Slowly back away while keeping the bear in sight and wait for it to leave
  • If the bear does not leave, throw objects, wave your arms and make noise with a whistle or air horn
  • Prepare to use bear spray
  • If you are near a building or vehicle get inside as a precaution
  • Drop any food you may be carrying and slowly move away
  • If a bear is in a tree, leave it alone. Leave the area. The bear will come down when it feels safe

The ministry says if you encounter a bear, do not run, climb a tree or swim and do not attempt to feed the animal.

There have been several bear sightings in the Ottawa area.

Last July, the National Capital Commission trapped a bear that was spotted in Mud Lake, a conservation area near Britannia Village.

In May 2020, a black bear was spotted in a tree along Terry Fox Drive near Kanata Avenue. Conservation officers tranquilized the bear and transported it back to the woods.