The number of calls for bears in our area is down this year, but that doesn’t mean they’re not coming around.

Bear With Us Sanctuary owner Mike McIntosh says things like garbage, pet food or bird feeders outside can bring a bear in from a few kilometers away.

McIntosh says bears aren’t mean by nature, so there’s no need to fear them, it’s just about being proactive about what we leave outside. He says if a bear has found food in one spot before, it may come around a few times before it gives up.

We’ll also start to see berries get ripe in the next couple of weeks, so when you’re out hiking with a dog, McIntosh says they should always been on a leash. He says bear attacks are extremely rare, but over half of them are caused by a dog off a leash.

If people feel bears are being aggressive around their property, they can call the MNR or OPP.

For more information, including tips on how to be “bear wise”, click here.