The killing of a pair of juvenile bears on Hawthorne Ave. September 23 – after more than two weeks of efforts by several residents to get someone to relocate the animals – has led to a call for the Town to get back into the bear management business.
These were “two cubs who couldn’t find their way out of our small town because, as I was informed, their mother was killed recently,” wrote Pine Cres. resident Diana Coulombe in a letter to the Premier and Minister of Natural Resources Bill Mauro.
She first brought the situation to the attention of Mayor Brown and the MNR here on September 7, suggesting that the cubs be trapped and relocated. But the MNR stopped trapping and relocating bears over two years ago, and since then no one has accepted responsibility for bear management within the town.
It has fallen to the OPP to respond to calls when bears are sighted in town, and to destroy them when they present a hazard. These juvenile bears were regularly sighted in and around the Pine Crescent area, and were the subject of calls to the OPP almost daily.
The Progress has been unable to confirm that the mother of these bears had been killed. The OPP has killed at least two other bears this month, but first-hand reports of those incidents suggest both of them were also juvenile bears.
“There has to be a way to give bears, especially the little ones, a chance to live after they’ve turned up in town,” said Mayor Brown. “We don’t want to take on more costs for the Town, but maybe there is a way we could look at relocating bears on a case-by-case basis. If it’s only a matter of a few thousand dollars…”