SooToday reader submitted the image above after seeing "a huge bear going through garbage bins on Panoramic Drive early this morning."
"This is the largest bear I have ever seen around," the reader wrote to us. "He walked past that white Jeep and he was a good 12 inches higher than the hood."
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) offers a number of tips on how to keep unwanted bears away from populated areas, including:
- put garbage out only on the morning of garbage day, not the night before
- put meat scraps in the freezer until garbage day
- put garbage in containers that have tight-fitting lids and store it in a bear-proof location such as your basement or a sturdy garage
- frequently wash garbage cans and recycle containers and lids with a strong-smelling disinfectant, such as bleach
- take garbage to the dump often, if you do not have curbside pick-up
- Bird feeders:
- fill bird feeders only through the winter months
- put away feeders in the spring and instead, offer birds natural alternatives (for example, flowers, nesting boxes and fresh water)
- burn off food residue and wash the grill right away
- empty the grease trap every time you barbecue
- remove all utensils, dishes and food after eating
- be aware that cooking odours can attract bears
- Fruits and berries:
- pick all ripe and fallen fruit from trees and shrubs on your property
- plant non-fruit bearing trees and shrubs
- Pet food:
- do not leave pet food outdoors, in screened-in areas or porches
To learn more, visit the MNRF Bear Wise page.