Black bears are being spotted more often near local municipalities, sometimes even scrounging near garbage cans at people’s homes. A community of 8-10 bears has apparently “adopted” the Cottrell’s Cove dump in the hunt for a free lunch, and some residents fear the animals will move into town when the landfill closes.
The Department of Natural Resources issued a release this afternoon advising residents of the Botwood area to be cautious given recent black bear sightings in and around the town.
The release says conservation officers with the department have placed traps in areas where black bears have been reported and recently relocated a bear from Botwood to a remote area.
To avoid attracting bears into their communities and backyards where they can pose a risk to public safety, residents are encouraged to ensure the proper storage and disposal of garbage, including not storing garbage in outside containers until collection day.
The department also warns residents that wild animals can be extremely dangerous and unpredictable when approached by humans. If anyone encounters a bear, they are reminded to:
· Remain calm;
· Back away slowly and do not run;
· Avoid eye contact with the bear; and
· Remove any garbage or food that may have attracted the bear.
Bears are common in many areas of the province at this time of the year. Anyone sighting a black bear is asked to please contact their local Forest Management Office.
The standby telephone number for the Botwood area, which should be used after regular business hours, is 709-541-0214.