Living in harmony with the black bear


Bears need a large volume of food in order to build fat reserves to help them easily go through the winter months of dozing inside their den. Human food scraps are a concentrated and energetic food source for the bear. If the food is easy to obtain, the bear will gradually lose its fear of humans and could become a problem.


Black bears can be attracted by:

  • Bird feeders
  • BBQ grids that have not been cleaned properly
  • Pet food left outside the house
  • Fruit trees and berry patches
  • Gardens


These sources of food can appear negligible, but they are important enough to attract bears on your property and encourage them to remain in the surrounding area.
The ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune du Québec (MRNF) will not install a cage in order to relocate a bear as long as the sources of food mentioned above are not eliminated.




Household waste:


The collection of household waste in Chelsea is done in alternation every two weeks. That is, one week household waste is picked up and the next week, recyclables. This practice allows for our environmental goals to be achieved more quickly.
However, the smell of household waste can attract bears. Thus, it is very important to put your household waste in an airtight container, such as stipulated in article 4 of the By-law on household waste collection in Chelsea. 



Our recommendations:

  • Put your refuse in a 360 L rolling container
  • Put your garbage bin outside the day of the collection
  • Store garbage bins or containers in a closed space
  • In the absence of a garage or shed, build a garbage box able to accommodate 360 L containers
  • Neutralize odors using dolomitic lime


Be careful when walking or strolling

Be vigilant when taking a walk in places where bears have been seen. Inform them of your presence by speaking, singing, whistling or carrying a bear bell with you.


If you encounter a black bear:

  • Stay calm.
  • Don’t shout or make sudden movements. Talk to it in a soft voice.
  • Always leave it an avenue of escape
  • Don’t run away. By running, you may encourage the bear to follow you and see you as its prey.
  • Avoid looking it directly in the eyes.
  • Back up slowly, keeping it in your sight all the while.
  • If it advances, toss objects in front of you to distract it. 


If it attacks :

  • It is NOT recommended to play dead with a black bear. Stay attentive and be ready to face it in the event it attacks.
  • If it attacks, defend yourself with whatever is close at hand: rocks, sticks, an axe, etc. Raise your voice, shout and gesticulate. The goal is to impress it into retreating. 



General information1-866-248-6936


Role of the municipality :

  • To inform residents and pass on information regarding black bears. 
  • To do follow-ups regarding the procedures to be undertaken. 
  • To stay in contact with the National Capital Commission (NCC) and the MRNF regarding various issues, including that of troublesome bears. 
  • However, it is not the role of the municipality to intervene in the trapping and relocation of troublesome black bears.