Or Bear-steria.

No matter what you call it, my little small town is buzzing with it.  Bears!  They are everywhere!  I even saw a bear recently while on a drive to Bala.  The bear was on the side of the road and ran like hell from our car.  We caught this photo of him running:

Run Bear Run!

The hys-bear-ia comes from a recent bear attack on a human.  Or as the Ministry of Natural Resources likes to call it: "human-bear conflict".  There have since been sightings all around the region: Midland, Elmvale, and even on the concession road I live on.  Yesterday, there was not only a bear sighting in Elmvale, the Ministry of Natural Resources came in and shot a bear cub with a tranquilizer and returned it back to the wild.

I hope that the recent attack and the sightings are encouraging people to educate themselves about bear safety and reminding us all that we share the woods and planet with animals that are much bigger than us.  According to the Ministry of Natural Resources, bears mostly avoid humans, but if there is a shortage of natural foods available to them, "bears will look for other food sources – primarily your garbage" and "once bears learn where to find and get a non-natural food source, they will return again and again."  So keep your garbage in a bear-proof container, and keep your Green Bins clean of any food smells (I will be cleaning mine out today to be sure it smells like soap and not food).  I am trying not to hop on the hys-bear-ia train, but following some tips on the Bear wise website is not a bad idea.  I also haven't gone on any walks in the woods for the past few weeks, as I would rather not disrupt any bear activities that don't want to be disrupted (plus it makes my Mom feel better if I'm not in the woods with the bears).

Though I think Bear safety and awareness is important, some of the headlines surrounding recent Bear activity have been a little over the top.  Two local papers ran the following headlines: "Bear reported in schoolyard" and "Bear sighted near Midland school".  When I read those headlines I pictured children playing on swing-sets at recess, running around having fun, when a bear strolls in and starts acting all crazy, causing the children to run for safety.  What actually happened, however, was that the Bear was spotted at 11:30pm.  At night.  To me, that is a little different than the Bear wandering through a schoolyard full of children.  I suppose "Midnight bear stroll in schoolyard" doesn't get the Bear-steria flowing nearly as much as "Bear reported in schoolyard."  I will save my rant on the media for another day. :)

There is a lot of great information about bears on the government website, so check out the following to educate yourself about Bears and Bear safety.



Posted by Jen B On Saturday, May 29, 2010 1 comment

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I had heard that there were Bear sightings in Orillia (on a golf course...guess he likes to take in a game from time to time), but didn't realise it had actually affected your town :( Glad you're not participating in the hys-bear-ia, but glad you're also taking a few extra precautions. The bear in your pic looks like a big boy, so it was a good thing you were in a car!

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