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Halifax-area community seeing a rise in bear sightings


The quiet community around Porters Lake, N.S., is known for having wildlife activity. However, residents are noticing more of it in their yards – particularly, black bears.

“We usually have bears coming out of hibernation and looking for food sources. It’s not uncommon for people in Porters Lake to spot a bear. We’ve had specific areas that see bears more than others,” said David Hendsbee, Halifax Regional Municipality councillor for District 2.

Hendsbee says bears have been making more surprise appearances and in areas they haven’t been seen before.

“We’re hearing reports [of] West Porter, Mineville, and even Cole Harbour have caught bears on the door bell cameras going by their yards,” said Hendsbee.

He said it is becoming a concern.

“This particular year, there seems to be broader fields the bears are covering,” said Hendsbee. “The concern is they were here first and now we’re intruding on them so they’re going and looking for other food sources.”

Last year, residents in Lake Echo received locks for their green bins, due to the increasing number of bear sightings. Hendsbee said it’s possible other communities may get them too.

“Depends on how intrusive they become [and] if it becomes more of a problem.”

Andrew Boyne, director of wildlife for Nova Scotia’s Department of Natural Resources and Renewables (DNRR), said bears are following easy food sources.

“They’re looking for food and if they can find east food sources they’re going to go for it. If there’s high amounts of natural food they will go for it as well,” he said.

Since bears avoid humans and flee at even the slightest noise, Boyne said it’s challenging to determine their exact population in the area, but expects it to be growing.

“We do feel the population is robust based on the increased number of reports that we get from the public, but also there is a bear hunt in the fall and we have data information reported to us from the hunting community,” said Boyne.

To learn more about the bear population in the province, DNRR has two projects underway that will provide the number of bears in Nova Scotia and their patterns.

In the meantime DNRR encourages people to keep their bins clean, avoid interactions with bears, and to contact the department if they see the animal are seen.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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