Western Manitoulin community plagued with nuisance bears

Tom Sasvari

The Recorder

SILVER WATER—Nuisance bear problems on Western Manitoulin have led to calls for the return of the spring bear hunt from at least one Silver Water resident.

“They (Ministry of Natural Resources) have to bring the spring bear hunt back,” said Doug McDonald after two recent incidents involving nuisance bears aroundhis home.

Mr. McDonald explained the latest of his incidents with bears happened very recently. “We received a call the other night,” he said, noting the call came at midnight and caused him to make an emergency run to the hospital. “When I went outside there was garbage spread all around the front yard.”

“We have an old three-quarter size freezer outside where we throw garbage in, and the bear upset it and took the garbage out,” said Mr. McDonald. “The first time we had a bear around this spring it tore off a side of the house. We were sitting watching TV when I heard a loud noise and I said to my wife, something must have fallen off the dresser (in the bedroom). She went into the bedroom and said it was from outside. When I went outside there were boards hanging off the house.”

“Two black bears have been tearing up my garbage containers,” stated Joyce Benoit of Stop 540 Restaurant in Silver Water. “They broke a large garbage container at the front and the garbage bags were thrown around and at the side of the road.”

“They (MNR) won’t do anything about the problem with bears,” said Ms. Benoit, noting the bears, “are overpopulating and there is not enough food around.”

“You pay big money to have these secure large garbage bins and they tear them up,” said Ms. Benoit. “And it’s dangerous. I get to the restaurant early in the morning and I’m scared because you never know if the bears are roaming around.”