The Department of Natural Resources is advising residents to be cautious in light of recent black bear sightings in and around the towns of Roddickton and Englee on the Northern Peninsula. Conservation officers with the department haveplaced traps in the areas where black bears have been reported.
The department warns residents that wild animals can be extremely dangerous and unpredictable when approached by humans. Residents are encouraged to take appropriate steps, including the proper storage, collection and disposal of garbage, to avoid attracting bears into their communities and backyards where the animals can pose a risk to public safety. Improperly stored garbage attracts bears into communities. Residents are also encouraged to refrain from storing garbage in outside containers until collection day.
The department says if anyone encounters a bear, they should:
• Remain calm;
• Back away slowly and do not run;
• Avoid eye contact with the bear;
• Remove any garbage or food that may have attracted the bear.
Bears are common in many areas in Newfoundland and Labrador at this time of the year. Anyone seeing a black bear is asked to contact their local Forest Management Office. The standby telephone number for Roddickton and Englee, which should be used after regular business hours, is 709-457-7243.