A new bear safety program is being pitched to Timmins city council. Terrestrial Ecologist, Angie Corson, has created a new program called Bear Beware. She says the goal is to close the gap between misleading facts, and to instill confidence so humans and bears can co-exist.
Corson says she has four main objectives, one is to hand out free bear deterrents to everyone in Timmins. She says they want to arm everyone with a whistle, to deter a bear if a sighting should occur.
Corson says she also wants to create a better data collection system for bear sightings. That means reporting when a bear is seen, what time of day, and the activity of the bear. She says that could lead to a long-term data collection system, where they start seeing clusters of the population of bears, so they can identify high risk areas. Corson says they can potentially improve surveillance around those high risk areas by mapping the occurrences.
The other part of her campaign focuses on education for kids. She is working on a new book, “The girl who cried bear” which will be distributed in local schools. She says it will teach students what to do with their bear whistles, and what to do if they see a bear.
Corson’s next step is meeting with the Timmins Bear Committee, the police, and the MNR.