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Bears waking from hibernation early: MNRF

**Written by Bob McIntyre

Due to a very mild winter and some recent spring-like weather, several bear sightings have already been reported to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry much earlier than most years.  

Outreach specialist Meghan Forbes says it’s because some bears are waking up earlier from hibernation… while others’ dens are being flooded out.  

“Some bears might find another spot to sleep, or they might start searching for food,” she notes, adding that the bears’ traditional breakfast isn’t readily available this early. 

“The first things that bears are going to look for is grasses and dandelions, especially near roadways, because the snow tends to leave alongside the roadways a little sooner than in the bush.” 

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According to the MNRF If bears learn they can find food where people live, they will often return many times as long as the food source is available. 

Some tips form the MNRF include: 


  • Put garbage out only on the morning of garbage day and keep your containers clean 
  • Put away feeders in the spring and instead, offer birds natural alternatives (for example, flowers, nesting boxes and fresh water) 
  • Plant non-fruit bearing trees and shrubs 
  • Do not leave pet food outdoors, in screened-in areas or porches 
  • Keep your dogs on a leash 
  • Keep an eye on your kids 
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