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Living with Wildlife in Manitoba

Black Bears and Human Food Sources

To achieve the most effective and long-lasting solution in avoiding unwanted nuisance black bear behaviour, we must all practice prevention rather than apply "after-the-fact" responses to a bear that has already gained access to foods or adapted to its availability. Black bears that become used to eating foods associated with humans usually develop into "problem" animals and must be either relocated or destroyed. Relocation is often unsuccessful because a bear may:

  • takes its learned "bad" habits and applies them in the area where it was relocated;
  • return to the original area and resume its nuisance behaviour;
  • or, die in the territory of another bear.

Destruction becomes the only alternative when a bear becomes "habituated" and "food-conditioned." 

If you are having a problem with bears, please contact your nearest Sustainable Development office for advice or assistance. The phone numbers can also be obtained either from the back of Manitoba’s "Cottager’s Handbook" or the Manitoba Hunting or Fishing Guides. If it is an emergency and a resource officer cannot be reached, then call the local RCMP office. If, however, you are forced to kill a bear in self defence or in defence of property, please be aware that under The Wildlife Act, the situation must be reported to a Natural Resources officer within 10 days.

So please, do your part in deterring black bears from becoming a nuisance, a danger, or having to be needlessly destroyed by removing all attractants and by handling food and garbage responsibly.