Ottawa-Gatineau (my place of residence in Canada) has seen a new influx of a new type of immigrants not on two legs but rather on four: mostly black bears. There have been since mid August some 69 sightings of black bears in my region of 1.3 M of inhabitants. Now these sightings are not uncommon but the number is higher than normal. Why this increase in bear visiting the capital region? Well, summer is almost over, autumn will be in full bloom soon and then winter. Bears have to fatten up for their winter hibernation. Since this summer here has been extremely long (from May to mid-September) and also extremely hot (July was also very dry), their food sources in the wild have decreased considerably. There are little left of grasses, roots and berries that most black bears eat. With this, they have to scavenge wider and farther for their sustenance. That is why they come into town for some apple trees bu mostly for garbage bins and compost bins but not for human companionship.
Above you see a picture of a black bear that was smack in the middle of the Ottawa’s farmers market (Byward market) one very early morning. He managed to climb that tree after being rousted by Ottawa police. A conservationist agent then tranquilized him twice in order to put him in a bear crate and relocate him far from the city. It is believed that that particular bear came across the river from Gatineau park to wander around the market area. Bears are remarkable swimmers. There have also been sightings of bears near elementary schools where garbage bins are outside and not well padded. Now that is dangerous. Some parents have instructed their children on behavior to adopt when facing a black bear. But so far, thanks to the efforts of the Ottawa-Gatineau population, conservationist agents and the likes only one black bear was hit by a car and had to be euthanized and there has not been any human accidents or fatalities while facing a black bear. All the inhabitants of Ottawa-Carleton and Gatineau have been instructed to put their garbage bins and compost bins either in their garage or in well hidden areas that a bear cannot get to or destroy. They have also been told to take away bird feeders and any other wildlife feeders of any kind. Most of the Ottawa-Gatineau inhabitants who live on the outskirts of the city have to take care of their dogs or cats because of the possibility of facing a black bear.
So what about the rest of the Virylians. Any encounters with wild animals lately? Let Virily know about it.