Skip to content

MNRF holds off trying to trap the Northwood bear

Ministry says last reported sighting of the animal was on May 4.
Bear WEB
A wild Black Bear

THUNDER BAY — The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has decided there's no need to devote more resources at this time to trapping the bear that's worrying some residents of the Northwood area.

The bear has a den on the bank of the Neebing River near Parkway Drive. It was sighted repeatedly over a period of 9 to 10 months starting last summer.

One resident appeared before city council at the end of April to express frustration over failed efforts to get the MNRF to relocate the animal.

"When a guy in a canoe can find the bear in its den within minutes, it's hard for me to understand how a potentially dangerous wild animal could have ben allowed to remain in a residential area for this long," John Bakich said.

"It has made our neighbourhood its home."

The ministry subsequently revealed that it attempted to set a trap for the bear in December with the aim of relocating it, but was unsuccessful. It also said it would consult with Thunder Bay Police on how to handle the situation.

According to an MNRF spokesperson, the outcome of those talks is that it will "continue to monitor the situation."

In an email to, Jolanta Kowalski said the ministry currently is not looking to trap and relocate the bear.

"In recent weeks there has been no reported activity from the Northwood bear thus no need for further action," Kowalski said.

She said the last recorded sighting was on May 4, adding that "spring has arrived and natural food sources are becoming more readily available for animals."

Kowalski said bears that come into a populated area aren't necessarily a threat to public safety, but public safety may be at risk when a bear exhibits threatening behaviour.

"If a bear poses an immediate threat to public 911. At the request of the police, MNRF may be engaged to provide assistance with emergency situations," she said.