BEARS WITH US

The Glengarry News - - Front Page - BY AN­GELA BROWN News Staff

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.

STEVEN WAR­BUR­TON PHOTO

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.

STEVEN WAR­BUR­TON PHOTO

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.

CLAUDE FAUBERT PHOTO

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.

TA­MARA CHARLEBOIS PHOTO

SIGHT­INGS: This was one of a num­ber of bears spot­ted in the area over the last few months.

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