Carling Township family says MNR wouldn’t come and trap bear after first attack

A woman in Carling Township, north of Parry Sound, Ont., says she felt trapped for weeks while a nuisance bear repeatedly returned to her home, causing thousands of dollars in damage.

And she says she’s flabbergasted by the response she received from the MNR.

Terri Welch had a bear return to her house twice, destroying the siding, tearing out insulation, and even shoving its paw through her back screen door. At one point the bear reached inside and randomly grabbed and pulled items from the house.

Welch said she called the MNR and was told the ministry would not help her with the bear.

Instead, she said she was told to try shooting it with a paintball gun or throwing rocks at it, or shoot it herself.

“I assumed calling them would mean that someone would come, and trap the bear, take the bear, [or] at least investigate what he had done.”

The MNR said it no longer traps and releases bears because they’ve found the bears usually return.

That statement was little comfort to Welch, who said the bear “actually had his paw inside our back door. He had ripped the screen off.”

Welch said she occasionally sees bears in her neighbourhood, but she has never dealt with one like this.

Her family woke up one morning to find a bear had torn off the siding of her house, ripping out drywall and insulation.

When the bear returned a third time, Welch’s husband shot it.

A spokesperson for the ministry said if people feel they are in danger from a bear, they should phone 911.

In the meantime, Welch said the bear attack on her house has had a lasting effect on her young family.

“The kids were, and still are, petrified.”