Bear traps go up after dozens of sightings in Bells Corners
Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources has set up two bear traps in Bells Corners after dozens of bear sightings were reported in the west-end neighbourhood over the last week.
The sightings involve three bears: a mother and her newborn cub, as well as a yearling. The animals have been spotted in a built-up area near schools and in backyards.
"Every time you go out in the community now, you have to look around corners and it's just a matter of wrong place wrong time," said Derek Finley, who has seen the bears several times while walking his dog through the woods.
The Ministry of Natural Resources is now trying to relocate the bears. It set up one bear trap in Bells Corners on Wednesday and another on Thursday.
"Typically, the bait food we're going to use is dog food with Jell-O powder," said Tammy Watson, a wildlife technician.
Scott Smithers, an area biologist with Natural Resources, says after so many complaints, the ministry had no choice but to set up traps.
"Just considering the number of people in the area, the potential for human safety, it was time to step up our measures and remove the bears," he told CTV Ottawa on Thursday.
Smithers adds while bears are sometimes spotted in Ottawa's green spaces, it's unusual for the creatures to be roaming around the Bells Corners neighbourhood.
He says bird feeders seem to be the main attractor and bears are notorious for getting into those feeders once they've found them, and they'll keep coming back until they're removed.
Meantime, residents are being asked to remove anything from outside that might attract a bear, including bird feeders, pet food and even green bins.
The ministry is also distributing education material to Bells Corners residents about how to react if they come into contact with a bear. One point of advice: it's best not to run from a bear, but rather walk away slowly.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Joanne Schnurr