BEARS WITH US
A roving black bear gave Marcoux Road neighbours a surprise when it came lumbering across their property recently.
Tamara Charlebois said the approximately 200-pound animal wandered up from behind a child’s small four-wheeler July 21 at 6:20 a.m.
“It walked right up the track. It sort of shocked me. I come from Sudbury and we are used to seeing bears up there. It was a little bit shocking to see it here,” said Mrs. Charlebois who has been living on Marcoux Road for the past nine years with her family. Now that she has seen a bear in the area she plans to be “a little more cautious.”
She found the encounter to be “more exciting than anything else,” and didn’t feel threatened. “I didn’t think we had them in the area,” she added.
“He didn’t look bothered by anything; he was slow and steady,” added Mrs. Charlebois. “He just wandered over to the neighbour’s.” She said the bear “didn’t bother to look” into her garbage cans outside.
The bear crossed her yard to the nature trail then ambled over to her neighbour Guy Leblanc’s property before leaving the area.
There have been reports of bears over the “last several weeks” on Marcoux and Dornie Roads.
As a mother with two boys, ages 6 and 7, she remains concerned about knowing a bear has been around. Her children were in the house when the animal walked by. “It makes me a little more nervous to let them outside. I check before they go out and I am always with them,” Mrs. Charlebois said.
Mr. Leblanc, who lives on Marcoux Road off County Road 43 near a wooded area, isn’t worried. “We have seen deer, fishers and all kinds of animals but this is the first time we have seen a bear,” he said, adding: “We live in nature. We wouldn’t expect to see a bear
but in any case it comes with the territory.”
He mentioned that, in order to not attract wildlife, he doesn’t leave food outside and makes sure garbage is in secure containers.
Wild animals tend to move into residential areas when food supplies in their natural habitats become scarce.
Ontario Natural Resources and Forestry acting management biologist Dom Ferland, based in Kemptville, said while there has been a dry spell this Summer, bears still do have a food source.
Earlier bear sightings occurred May 27 near Cornwall and May 30 in Alexandria. But the MNR official said he hasn’t received any more reports in the local area other than the July 21 incident.
“We haven’t noticed a pat- tern,” he added. “We do wildlife food surveys each year and right now what it looks like is that most berry crops are fair to abundant. We did note the berries were a bit drier and smaller, probably because of the dry conditions. It’s pretty hard to assess how that will affect the bear food at this time but we don’t anticipate food sources are a concern right now.”
The MNR notes most black bears avoid humans and don’t attack. People should call 911 if they feel threatened by a bear, or if it lingers or tries to enter their home.
The ministry reports black bear attacks are “extremely rare.” As a precaution, people should only fill bird-feeders through the Winter months, leave pet food indoors and not put compost outside. More information is available on the Ontario Natural Resources website.
Sightings can be reported to the Bear Wise hotline, 1-866-5142327.
TUG- OF- WAR CHAMPIONS: South Glengarry’s tug-of-war team went undefeated at the Williamstown Fair’s annual competition. In the final best-of-three event, the South Glengarry pullers beat the Sons of Glengarry two pulls to none. Their victory over the new Glengarry team was a repeat of the previous weekend’s Glengarry Highland Games.
GRAND CHAMPION: Lochiel resident David MacMillan clutches his first place ribbon while showing his cow, Rena, at the Holstein show at the Williamstown Fair on Saturday. Mr. MacMillan, of Lochdale Holsteins, took home the grand champion prize. For more images and results from the Williamstown Fair, please see inside.
SURPRISE VISITOR: This black bear surprised Marcoux Road neighbours while traipsing across their property recently. Quite possibly the same bear was also spotted by residents on Dornie Road.
SIGHTINGS: This was one of a number of bears spotted in the area over the last few months.