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Bear sightings in New Minas, Kentville likely due to improper food, garbage storage

<p>The two black bears at the Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park have been put down due to deteriorating health issues affecting their mobility. The sisters had been rescued as orphaned cubs and called the park home for roughly 23 years.</p>
Black bears are common across Nova Scotia and can become a problem if food or garbage is left out (SUBMITTED).

Food is biggest reason bears venture into urban areas: DNR

KENTVILLE – A black bear first spotted in New Minas has now been spotted making its way through Kentville.

An area resident reported seeing the bear at the end of Gladys Porter Drive in the wooded area near the Gorge. Another sighting was reported just after midnight on May 11 when the bear was seen near Burgher Hill.

The Town of Kentville has made several public social media posts linking to the Department of Natural Resource’s information page detailing what attracts bears and what to do if someone sees one. Town CAO Mark Phillips says the answer to the first question is an easy one: food, something the DNR webpage also confirms.

“These animals are interested in food. That’s the main attraction,” he said.

The website also states these bears, which are found across the province, return to areas where they’ve found food sources, becoming less afraid of people as they do so.

Phillips says the only way to get a handle on this is to ensure food and garbage items are properly stored and disposed of.

“Each of us citizens has a responsibility with regards to food management,” he said.

Kentville Police Chief Julia Cecchetto confirmed police are treating both sightings as the same bear, since reports were also received of one seen May 10 on Highbury Road in New Minas.

If you see a bear in your community, call the Kentville Department of Natural Resources office during regular business hours at 902-679-6097. After hours, you can reach the Department of Natural Resources at 1-800-565-2224.

For more information on how to avoid problems with black bears, visit https://novascotia.ca/natr/wildlife/nuisance/bears.asp.

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