Bells Corners bear becoming a problem


For those of you who didn’t catch Larissa Cahute’s article in yesterday’s paper:

A bear has taken up residence in Bells Corners.

A number of community members have reported sightings of the oversized visitor.

Muriel Inglis, who lives on Evergreen Dr., thought raccoons were rummaging through her bird feeders when her motion lights came on Saturday night. When she got out of bed to check, it was “a hell of a shock.”

“There was this nice, great, big, hunk of a black bear,” said Inglis.

Inglis said it was in the backyard for about 15 minutes. He trailed through her backyard, tearing down grass, plants and bird feeders.

According to Inglis, the Ministry of Wildlife and Natural Resources said they’ll only take action if the bear becomes aggressive.

“As far as I’m concerned the ministry should do more about it,” she said Tuesday.

“Behind our hedge, the walk is all kinds of paths — a path to Bell High School where kids walk back and forth to school.

“It’s a good 250-to-300 lb. bear — it was no cub,” said Inglis.

Guy Duxbury lives nearby on Foothills Dr. He spotted the bear Monday just before 6 a.m. — but he said the bear is not new to the neighbourhood.

Apparently, a neighbour reported a sighting last year.

“And it’s a regular visitor now,” said Duxbury.

He said his visit from the bear lasted about three minutes. “It ripped down the bird feeder and it rambled off.”

Duxbury believes the bear is in the swampy area behind Bell High School, which is why he was quick to call the police.

“Being so close to Bell High School … it wasn’t good for the kids going in the morning,” he said.

Laura Sandvold lives on Evergreen Dr., and although she hasn’t spotted the animal, she’s worried for her family’s safety.

“I’ve got two children,” she said. “We don’t let them go out in the backyard anymore — and it’s summer, the weather just started getting nice.”

Sandvold has called the ministry as well and said they only gave her tips for when confronted by the bear. She was told to make noise, look big and walk backwards, slowly.

“That’s useful if you’re in bear country — but I don’t feel that we’re in bear country,” said Sandvold.

“That’s a whole other level of wild life.”

45 thoughts on “Bells Corners bear becoming a problem”

  1. AAAHHHH the poor bears.Over populated,no food yet.Dear city folk where do you think there going to get some food.Do like we have to out in the country.No bird feeders,no humming bird nectar,tie up your garbage and keep in an enclosed bear proof enclosure,don’t let your kids walk out in your (wilderness)groomed nature trails.Make them wear cow bells to announce there presence.And above all don’t worry they will eventually wander deeper into the city away from your neighbourhood.

    1. That’s right Paul..and the other big problem here is public perception. Most people think these ‘city foraging bear’s are someone domestic and of no real danger. Sure, these types and the ‘garbage bears’ may not be as deadly as one secretive lone predatory bear up north would be, but we must never underestimate how unpredictable they can be.

      They’re bears for goodness sake!!

      Look at the Timothy Treadwell story in Alaska…he lived with and beside those grizzlies for years..the slept and ate next to him without fear for the longest time…until one day when one of them got tired of him. Without warning, Treadwell and his girlfriend were turned on..killed and partially eaten.

      I know these are black bears around here, but who’s to say one day they won’t tire of the garbage food or bird feeders and look for something a bit more substantial for dinner?


  2. Ha ! nice looking bear but the police or the ministry will no respond because it’s not a MOOSE !!!!

  3. Jeff i know this is off the subject but maybe you can figure out the rational of our MNR.I just found out that in wmu 21A or B the ministry is giving out in excess of 1500 moose tags and extras this year to wipe out the moose from this area so they can get the” woodland caribou” established. Now given the fact that we have been hearing for years that our moose population is in decline from the 125000 estimated, what the hell are they thinking with this wholesale slaughter in this area.What pea brain could possible think that woodland caribou in this area will generate near the economical benifit that the moose season does.Not only that but the only boundary separating the one unit from the other is the hwy. As far as i am aware moose and caribou don’t fallow no trespass signs for one anothers range.If you have any news on this that i’m missing i would like to hear.

    1. Paul, the moose/woodland caribou issue in 21A & B is news to me..but I do have some contacts in the MNR, and promise to look into it for you.

      If that really is their intention with that region, its simply ridiculous, but I will give them the benefit of the doubt until I learn otherwise.


  4. Where is PETA when you need them eh paul LOL



  5. Hey iggy … i was told by a ofah member that i was just pissed that i never thought of the idea to start a non profit organisation so i could make money……. he is a director…… just goes to show where there mind set is

  6. Nothing like creating fear and then using it as a platform to justify hunting. This is pathetic, we had bears in Kanata Lakes every so often when feeding became scarce. No one hurt, no one dead, no one attacked. Keep the available food away and they move on. You don’t have to kill them to get rid of them and you need to be blind, stupid or dumb to happen on a 300 pound animal in plain sight.

    The reason that there are protections in place is to stop poaching that invariably leads to most Asian markets and other disgusting practices that not all hunters seem able to follow. You want respect for your practice, than work from within to shed the degenerate human beings who’d rather kill an animal for its gallbladder than go out and get a job to contribute and support our economy like a normal citizen. PETA is a convenient excuse for narrow minded individuals who seem unable to acknowledge that there are those out there who are NOT like them and abuse the rights and freedoms they seem to believe they are entitled to.

    1. Sorry Bob, I dont think you know us at all…

      To accuse hunters and conservationists of condoning the practice of killing ursus for the gall…well, you have a lot of gall yourself.


    2. Bob, evidently you’ve taken offence to Iggy’s suggestion we ‘bring back the spring bear hunt’…however, I believe that statement to have considerable merit from a conservation standpoint, and will explain by describing a situation encountered across the river in the Outaouais.

      For many years, the province of Quebec administered two black bear seasons – a fall season and a spring season. They were used as a wildlife management tool for keeping black bear numbers in check. Then in early 1990’s it was decided they would do away with the fall hunt and stick with just a spring season. This decision to run a single bear hunt in that province came even before ON caved into pressure from the Animal Right’s groups and abolished its spring season…it was a decision, I believe, the QC government would come to regret!

      A few short years following QC’s decision to run but one bear hunt in that province, the bruin population in the Outaouais grew and grew…to a point where black bears could be seen wandering into Hull(at the time) and other urban parts of Gatineau on a regular basis – creating a general nuisance for themselves.

      The QC Ministry was at a do they thin out the bear population(which had burgeoned into the highest density of bears in all of QC!) now with only one hunting season to control their numbers and scant little bear trapping to speak of.

      It was decided that a ‘controlled bear hunt’ would be set-up in that region to ‘cull’ a given number of bears each year..with hopes of rectifying the problem. The hunt was kept somewhat hushhush as these sorts of things, as we know, are generally not well accepted by the public. The QC Ministry coordinated efforts between landowners and bear outfitters in the region to get hunters out to shoot as many bears as required.

      This annual ‘controlled hunt’ continued on for several years with very little effect. The Ministry thought long and hard on a solution…finally came up with the decision to ‘reintroduce’ the fall bear season in the Outaouais. (Note: Fall bear hunts were brought back to other areas of QC since that time)

      Since that Outaouais decision, the number of nuisance bear encounters in that region has dropped considerably.

      So Bob, when someone suggests that ‘bringing back the Ontario spring bear hunt’ may be a good idea, I believe there is definitely some merit to that statement. We just have to look across the river to see why.


  7. Bingo Jeff, you can’t blame legitimate hunters for the acts of poachers … those of us that do hunt legitimately are out there for more than the kill, but actually enjoying nature and the wildlife within. We spend countless hrs studying the area and ultimately deciding whether or not the population can support hunting at all. It simply isn’t get a tag and go shoot something. Aside from that … the fear being generated is by citiots who prefer to wipe everything living from their communities rather than just dealing with them as they come along … this certainly isn’t the actions of hunters and conversationalists who prefer a studied response to animal encounters and population changes. for example: see every time a moose enters the east end, rather than corralling it and sending it on it’s way, it has to be tranquillised or shot.

  8. A bear that is hanging around people’s homes looking for food is a nuisance bear. The MNR routinely trap such bears in Northern Ontario. They use a cage mounted on a trailer that they bait with garbage. The bear goes in, pulls on the bait pail, and the door slams down. The people who live nearby call the MNR when the bear is in the trap, and they come and drive it far off into the wilderness. Before releasing it they put a tag in it’s ear. If it shows up again at people’s houses it may be trapped again, but eventually incorrigible repeat offenders will be shot. I’d be interested to hear why this MNR policy doesn’t apply to bears in the Ottawa area? It may be that bears have been so rare in this area the MNR doesn’t have any traps here, or maybe they don’t have any wilderness areas where they can release nuisance bears within a reasonable driving distance. It could also be a jurisdictional problem, as the closest wilderness is in Quebec and the MNR would have to make arrangements with their Quebec counterparts. In any case the bureaucrats need to get off their duffs and solve the problem, not ignore it.

    A much bigger concern is the fact that the MNR no longer fights forest fires in Southern Ontario. With Environment Canada predicting one of the hottest summers ever, it would be reassuring to know that the City of Ottawa and rural volunteer fire departments have the equipment and know-how to fight a raging inferno in the NCC forest. Last I heard it was going to take up to 12 hours to get water bombers – that’s not preparedness! Neither is the plan to drive fire trucks into the forest – somebody needs to educate the firefighters about creating firebreaks. And what about evacuating neighbourhoods in the path of fires? I’d like to see a full size forest fire simulation training exercise before the real thing happens, with news coverage so people will know what to do. That shouldn’t be too much to ask for, but given the apparent incompetence of city and provincial bureaucrats I doubt it will happen until after the real thing. More likely such training money has already been spent renovating offices and padding expense accounts.

  9. Jim, first … coming from northern Ontario, I can tell you that 99.9999% of bear incidents in town don’t ever involve trapping or shooting. The bears are shooed away with sirens and the like if they become a bother, or are just simply left. The practices of the past don’t necessarily correlate to what occurs now. Over years of trapping and releasing bears, it has become painfully obvious that moving a “problem” bear doesn’t solve anything, and that prevention is key. This is why in rural northern Ontario, people don’t leave garbage cans out, they are in bear proof boxes or in the house (I know, to Ottawans this is unheard of with the possibility of a “smell”). Furthermore, in northern Ontario there are (within a reasonable distance) areas in which you could release a bear where it won’t become a problem for some other community; the same can not be said for Ottawa. The further you drive with the animal, the more likely the meds are to wear off, and the more stress is placed on it, leading to death. Let’s put it this way, if it’s ok for me to have my kids playing in the back yard with the family of blacks that lives in the bush back there, it is fine for yours as well.

    Now for the off topic water bomber discussion. You’d actually be surprised how many fires in northern Ontario are found from fire roads (similar to what they have in Perth and surrounding areas, and only assisted by bombers. The big difference being the remoteness of the area. The Ottawa valley simply doesn’t have many remote areas to require a very expensive fleet of aircraft when a) fires are natural and are required for rejuvenation of forested lands and b) fires are so infrequent to begin with that ground based fighting is often enough to hold off until aircraft are available.

  10. Hey Bob, did you know it’s illegal to take a gall from a kill site in Ontario- didn’t think so.
    Bob, do you know the difference between a hunter and a poacher- didn’t think so.
    Bob, did you know that the best conservationists are hunters- didn’t think so.
    Bob, have you ever heard the old expression, if you want to save a species, make it hunt able, because the hunters care about the animals they hunt – didn’t think so.

    Bob, would you rather the MNR kill a few dozen bears and throw them in a dump up near Timmins? Like they did a couple years ago and got caught, at first tried to deny it then finally admitting it.
    Just sayin

    One last thing Bob
    you said
    ” and you need to be blind, stupid or dumb to happen on a 300 pound animal in plain sight. ”

    you’ve truly never been near a bear have you. How about you learn a thing or two about bears before you spout off about them. I’ve had bears within fifteen years of me before either one of us knew each other was there, and I was hunting them, they are like a ghost in the bush, and quite often you don’t know they are there until your right on top of them. And they couldn’t care if your there, so go back to your city life of feeding the squirrels and chipmunks!

  11. One more point for BOB

    Hunters are legal harvesters of wildlife who have bought a license to pursue there quarry. Poachers are not hunters.They are criminals and should be defined as such.If we stop allowing hunters and poachers to be used in the same sentence then maybe we can get the general public to understand as well.

    1. Bob who?

      Oh yeah, Bob…well, we could probably continue on without him..hehe

      My buddy Ed Hand of 1310 News contacted me this am..he was looking for a bear expert to run some coverage on this Bells Corners bruin, but before I could get back to him, he had Scott Smithers of the MNR on retainer…I’ll be listening for what they have to say on the subject.

      Hey, I have a great idea for getting the City’s attention on this black bear matter:

      The next time the bear shows up, we’ll turn on some Kid Rock, get the thing to lift up its shirt and ‘flash’ its bare chest for the people of Bells Corners.

      They’ll have that friggin bear kicked outta town so quick it’ll make your head spin!


  12. I’ll be hunting bears just out at Dwyer Hill Rd late this summer, looks like the Sudbury bear hunt is off so I’ll hunt around town (don’t worry Bob I’ll leave the galls at the kill site). I could also hunt them at camp near Dacre, we have three guys going in on the Labour Day weekend to hunt them and they’ll bait off and on during the summer but for me it’s too far to have to go to bait and I much prefer to bait every day than once or twice a week.

  13. The big thing I have to question is there are plenty of people living in rural areas where bears are an every day thing, yet you rarely ever hear of attacks, yet when a bear wanders into town, its something that requires traps and police to deal with?

  14. ROB thats because people who live in rural areas are some what smart… its the citiots that dont know to stay away from bears and even deer fro that matter ……. we need all bears to be born with a warning sign that says danger stay away… thats the only way the message will get out …..

  15. Rob
    big difference is in rural setting, the bear is very likely to turn back to where it came from, and kids can run the other way, you get a bear in a schoolyard setting like what happened with the moose, and the bear and the kids can’t escape, then what?

    @chessy, you breal me up
    if Bob had b@lls he’d be my uncle 🙂

    1. that’s right Chess, and if your aunt had b*lls, she’d be your uncle!


  16. funny, the only time I hear from the OFAH

    Canada Post Strike impact on membership renewals‏
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    nice eh
    got this e-mail tonight

  17. I think the article is good awareness for people to remove their bird feeders and take other precautions. I saw that one bird feeder and thought, if I was a bear, i’d be all over that! 🙂

    The bear spring hunt is an interesting issue. Lots of bears in Northern Ontario, but maybe we need more of them to come into the backyards of folks in Ottawa or, more importantly, Toronto to make it an issue again.

    I was turkey hunting a few wks ago and came across this bear. Watch him kiss my decoys.

  18. Robert, I’m from the country north of Lake Superior, and still spend my summers there. I don’t know where you get your ideas that bears in towns are all warm and fuzzy – several summers ago a bear broke into the Rossport Inn and was shot in the kitchen. My nephew heard a noise downstairs in his house in Beardmore and went down to be accosted by a snarling bear in his kitchen that had broken in through the door. It chased him upstairs. Every year the local newspapers have stories of bear attacks. One woman near Thunder Bay was grabbed and bitten on the head by a bear as she left her home for work. A neighbour saw this and drove the bear off. Another woman and her young child were terrorized for hours by a bear breaking holes in their trailer trying to get at them. A young friend from Ottawa who used to plant trees in summer quit after a workmate was dragged out of a tent at their camp and killed by a bear.

    The MNR trapping and tagging of nuisance bears is a help, but the way most people in the north are dealing with problem bears is to shoot them when they come foraging on private property, particularly if you have children who might be harmed. Bears are wild animals and they are omnivores who will eat anything they can kill, including humans, if they are hungry and the opportunity presents. The best advice I’ve heard is that the bear that you think you can be friends with is the one most likely to eat you! At the very least people in bear country need to carry bear spray and be prepared to use it for protection (available at Le Baron for $20) and should report bears hanging around their homes to the MNR. I respect bears and try to keep out of their way, but I don’t trust them to do the same. Wild animals are unpredictable and bears are among the biggest and potentially the baddest. Beware!

    As for forest fires, I lived on Lands & Forests bases as a youngster, and grew up with fire fighters. I have seen no evidence that Ottawa is prepared or able to fight a fire in tinder dry NCC forest that could set a nearby residential area ablaze within a very short time. I see no good reason why we can’t we have at least one helicopter or aircraft equipped to drop flame retardents or water on standby in Ottawa throughout the summer, as part of fire fighting preparedness.

  19. 24 fatal attacks in North America in over two decades tells me the “threat” they pose is statistically insignificant given their prevalence in nature. 20+ years of trapping and hunting gives me the experience to know those statistics are accurate.

    Any hunter or trapper will tell you the same story, that if you aren’t stupid and you respect your distances and most of all have situational awareness, black bears are not an issue. Bear spray is about as useful as those bear bells they sell out west, if you want to keep bears away, make lots of noise, talk at a good volume rustle leaves and sticks as you walk (a bit harder in the city where these are toxic and removed on sight). Its not a question of being friends with the bear or any other wild animal, its about having respect for them and understanding they have their place, and they do not know of boundaries on a map that differentiate the country from the city. Trapping and moving inevitably means you are making your “problem” someone elses … or worse leads to over stressing the animal and having it die. We need to understand that the wild life out there is out there, and know what to do when we encounter it, we can not sterilize the world.

  20. Mountain Equipment Coop also sells bear spray and they have excellent neoprene belt holsters for the spray cans too.

  21. the MNR tries to deflect blame by blaming people, “oh you have a bird feeder up”, “oh you have a BBQ”. Big deal, people in the suburbs and even rural people have always fed birds and fed themselves with BBQ’s, the difference is there are now way to many bears. The MNR will deny this but I’m telling you there are way more bears now than their ever was. This is a political hot potato for the employees of the MNR, they ARE instructed to tell everyone that the bear populations are stable and it’s the residents fault. When your given instructions by your leaders, you follow or your fired.
    The real answer is the leaders, the deputy minister and the politicians. They are instructing their employees to lie to you because they don’t have the cahones to tell you that the real reason we have many more bear issues now than we had 20 years ago is because people don’t hunt them any more.
    Ask yourself this question. Do you seriously believe that bears want to come into backyards and be near humans to get food, or do you think they are doing it because there are too many bears so they have to find new food sources?

  22. OFAH….I’ve lost respect for them a long time ago….if there’s nothing in it for them, then chances are they won’t help.

    As for the rest, the hunters/real conversationists have basically stated my thoughts.


  23. ig if that were really the case there would have been a decline in the number of tags available but in recent years the numbers have gone up and down with the population

    the loss of the spring hunt was to appease the greenies who were worried that the cubs would perish without a parent

  24. I recieved a call last evening about 8 PM. A customer had just shot a bear that had crashed a family BBQ in North Gower. At 6:30 just after the kids had gone in the house a large male Black Bear appeared in the back yard. It was shoed away but the people thought it may be a good idea to break out a rifle just in case. A short time later the bear returned. The bear showed no fear with several adults present in the back yard. It was shot 20 feet from the back door.

    It was a healthy adult male black bear. It will be a lifesize mount. The MNR were notified this morning and permits obtained.

    Rob what do you mean by decline in the availabliity of tags? They are unlimited and many places in Southern Ontario have a two bear limit.

  25. .Exactly Rick, now in a lot of areas in Ontario you can get a second bear tag, unthinkable a few years ago, and the reason is, too many bears, so how does the MNR try to solve the problem brought on by the cancellation of the spring bear hunt, they sell extra tags and make some extra money.
    If you’ve been up north, and I don’t mean Alaska, I mean North Bay and north and west of there, very few locals hunt bears, they are considered a nuisance, but the Americans and us southerners used to flock there in the spring to hunt bears. Now they don’t bother because hunting bears in the fall when the hides are all messed up isn’t what they want. I still hunt bears in the fall, but most of the guys go to other provinces in the spring and our bear population rises, and the government blames us.
    As long as they are blaming us, the ones who believe it, don’t blame the real party at fault, the government
    What we need is an organization that stands up for hunters and cares about more than just money

  26. One other thing Rob, the government sells every tag they can, the ups and downs are based on the number of bear tags they could sell, they’ve NEVER run out of tags
    Just sayin

  27. my point was if they were cutting the second hunt to appease the greeny’s feelings we were killing too many, they would lower available tags, not the number of hunts … hell most places the season is open what 3 months? aug-oct sort of thing?

    them cancelling the spring hunt had more to do with the cute cubs than the population of bears over all

    1. Well, I suppose bears will really be in the spotlight now…two people were killed last night across the river on the 148 near Luskville.

      Apparently someone hit a 300-pound bear running across the hwy; knocking it into oncoming traffic. A 40 year-old man and 25-year old woman were killed instantly.


      1. Justin Sadler – Ottawa SUN — Two people are dead after a bizarre two-vehicle collision with a bear north of Gatineau.

        Cops say at around 10 p.m. Monday night two young men were heading eastbound along Hwy. 148 near Luskville when their Pontiac Sunfire struck a bear. Though the men were uninjured, the impact sent the animal airborne into the opposite lane where an oncoming Nissan Pathfinder slammed into it.

        The bear crashed through the windshield of the vehicle, killing the 25-year-old Ottawa woman in the driver’s seat and the 40-year-old Gatineau man seated behind her. The vehicle came to a rest near Alary Rd.

        “The bear went through the windshield on the driver’s side and went back out by the back window. So can you imagine?” said MRC des Collines Const. Martin Fournel.

        “I have to say, it’s a first.”

        The front seat passenger, a 28-year-old Gatineau man, suffered serious but non-life threatening upper body injuries. He was taken to Hull hospital where he remains in stable condition.

        It brings the number of road fatalities in the region to nine this year.

        Police identified the male victim as Steven Leon from Gatineau.

        The woman’s name is being withheld at the family’s wishes.

        Hwy. 148 was closed overnight as police investigated the crash but was reopened at 7 a.m. Tuesday morning.

  28. Rob if we kill one bear the greenies will think we kill too many. They are impossible to appease!

    Canncelling of the spring hunt was Harris caving in to political blackmail.

    Just heard a rumour two people were killed in a bear car collision near Wakefield.

  29. I read that story this morning. Heartbreaking and sad 🙁 Unfortunate to say the least. The timing was sadly perffect for this to happen and hopefully it wasn’t an insane speed from the sunfire which helped propel the bear.

    The only consoling thought is that since it happened after dark, hopefully the people didn’t even know what hit them. so sad 🙁

    This has happened with deer twice over the last few years as well. I think it happened just this past fall and then a few years ago. 🙁

  30. Well just another note to that story.They are now blaming it on hunters who apparently had set up a bait 30 meters from the hwy. According to the person on hand to be interviewed, that bait brought bears in from all over the place. So i’m thinking maybe the green bins in the city are the reason the bears are coming from all over. Sounds like a good story angle, now i just need a reporter and a bunch of gullible urban dwellers.

    The excuse that the bears are getting too plentifull and dangerous and therefore in need of a spring hunt will fall on deaf ears. I enjoyed the spring hunt because it was a chance to get out and hunt after a long winter and bear meat is fantastic tasting.You can give tags away free in the fall and it still would not get the guys out because there is to much going on in the fall. Fishing at it’s best, golfing with no flies to harass you, small game and duck season just a couple weeks away, getting back to work and kids to school after summer holidays, work parties at hunt camps and scouting for deer and moose season to prepare for.
    So much to do and so little time


  32. The fact the bear became airborne is surprising. Hitting a bear is akin to hitting a boulder they are so low set.

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