An eight-year-old girl was attacked by a black bear on Saturday July 21, 2018 while she was camping with her family in the Whiteshell Provincial park.
The girl was injured when the bear attacked her tent at a back-country campsite on South Cross Lake.
After the attack on the tent the bear then tried to get into the famliy’s food barrel hanging from a tree away from the campsite. The girl’s father scared the bear away and the family left the area by canoe after warning other area campers.
The girl was treated in hospital and released. she suffered cuts to her face.
On Monday Manitoba Sustainable Development issued a reminder to campers, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts to be aware of the presence of wildlife and to be ‘Bear Smart’
Remember the following preventive measures to avoid conflicts with bears:
• never approach or feed a bear (or any other wild animal);
• keep dogs on a leash to reduce the potential of it being attacked by a bear or leading a bear back to you;
• store attractants, such as food and garbage, in a secure building or bear resistant container so they are not accessible to bears;
• when travelling in wilderness areas be alert, make noise, travel in groups, and keep children close by;
• take down bird feeders between April and November;
• store garbage in a secure building or bear resistant container;
• secure compost piles or compost food items indoors;
• in the summer, remove all ripened or fallen fruit daily in the morning and before dusk and don’t allow it to rot on the ground;
• allow barbecue grills to burn for a couple of minutes after cooking to burn off grease and to eliminate odors, and clean grills and grease cup after each use;
• clean up thoroughly after picnics in the yard or on the deck and don’t allow food odors to linger;
• feed pets indoors and never leave food dishes outdoors; and
• fully enclose backyard beehives and chicken coops; electric fencing is an effective bear deterrent.
Although this attack was within 30 kilometres of an attack that happened on the Mantario trail July 2 wildlife experts believe it is unlikely the same bear is involved.
Manitoba Sustainable Development says that conservation officers are searching for the bear and there is an effort to trap it, but it was last seen swimming away toward Caddy Lake so it may be difficult to locate. For now officials have closed the back-country campsite where the attack took place.
You can get more information on being “Bear Smart” by visiting www.manitoba.ca/blackbear
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