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'Not something you normally see': Woman spots pair of bears on Manitoba road

A black bear seen on Highway 12. (Source: Facebook/Debra Chwartacki) A black bear seen on Highway 12. (Source: Facebook/Debra Chwartacki)

A Manitoba woman saw something unexpected on her drive to work this week, seeing a pair of black bears on the road.

Around 6:45 a.m. on Tuesday, Debra Chwartacki was driving from Grand Beach on Highway 12 when she saw a car parked on the road. She looked over to see what was going on and saw two “enormous” bears in a ditch within five feet of her car.

Chwartacki noted the bears looked healthy and big, and were enjoying eating the grass.

“I parked my car and decided I was going to take some photos. It’s not something you normally see,” she said.

“I mean they’re out more and more now, but I was shocked to see them that close to the road.”

Black bears are being spotted in the Grand Beach area. (Source: Facebook/Debra Chwartacki)

Chwartacki said she’s never seen bears in the Grand Beach area before, as she's new to the area, but heard of other sightings, including in people’s yards.

A number of people have also taken to social media to report their bear encounters.

“Other people have noted that they’ve seen the same large bears around,” Chwartacki said.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Northern Development said there have been fewer than 100 reports of interactions between people and black bears so far this spring.

The statement noted that it’s too early to know how weather conditions will impact food availability and movement patterns, but many of the bear interactions have involved attractants in people’s yards.

The government reminds Manitobans to take the following steps to avoid attracting bears:

  • From April to November, store your bird feeder in a place that can’t be accessed by wildlife;
  • Do not approach or feed a bear;
  • Restrain your dog when walking through your community or on trails;
  • Store garbage in a secure building or a bear-resistant container;
  • Secure compost piles or compost food items indoors;
  • Remove all ripened or fallen fruit in the morning and before dusk;
  • Allow barbecue grills to burn for a few minutes after cooking; and
  • Feed pets indoors.

More information about wildlife-human interactions can be found online. Top Stories

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