Black bear visits concerning Tatamagouche residents

‘He just seems to think he’s family. He lays under the tree a lot.’

Raissa Tetanish
Published on June 17, 2014
A black bear roams the forest near Timmins, Ont., on May 27, 2012.
The Canadian Press

TATAMAGOUCHE – He’s been nicknamed Teddy, the Lake Road Bear, but that doesn’t mean he should be cuddled.

For roughly a week now, residents in the village, particularly on Lake Road, have been seeing a black bear, estimated to be about two years old.

“At first, there was a mother and two cubs, but then the next day this one came along and we haven’t seen the mom and cubs since,” said Joanne Graham, who said the bear has been hanging out behind her house since about Wednesday. “He seems to just be romping around back there.”

Graham has lived in the area for about 10 years now and said black bear sightings aren’t uncommon.

“Across from our house is a field and we have seen them there,” she said, adding coyotes have also been seen in the area.

When she was mowing last week, Graham had her first sighting of the bear, however has seen a number of them during her travels to and from Amherst lately.

“But this one, I don’t know why he’s sticking around. He just seems to think he’s family. He lays under the tree a lot.”

Having lost her hearing in her right ear, Graham said Teddy got a little too close for comfort, coming up along her right side while she was in the garden. Because she cares for a young boy with disabilities, she’s been taking extra precautions even heading outside.

“I don’t put him out on the step like I used to until we know it’s safe out there,” she said. “We’re both at a bit of a disadvantage.”

Graham said a number of her neighbours have also spotted Teddy, with those neighbours calling the Department of Natural Resources.

“The last time I saw the bear was (Monday) morning coming through the fence,” she said. “But around suppertime, there was a bear spotted at the Shell, and at my doctor’s office across the river. So he’s been making the rounds and visiting everyone.”

She said the bear hasn’t been aggressive at all, however stresses the fact that he is still a wild bear.

Living outside the village, Sherry Cameron hasn’t seen the bear herself, however has called with her concerns.

“There have been two women that have daycares in their home that have seen it,” said Cameron. “One of the ladies that does daycare cares after my two children and I’m concerned about their safety, and the safety of the other children where the bear has been hanging out in the area.”

Cameron said the Department of Natural Resources has set a live trap, something that Graham confirmed as well.

A representative from the Department of Natural Resources’ Bible Hill office was not available for comment.

Twitter: @TDNRaissa