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Bear encounters on rise in cottage country

<p>Jeff Herrington, a cook at a luxury resort in the heart of Muskoka, was preparing a late-night meal at about 10 p.m. last Wednesday when a guest told him that a bear was at the back door of the kitchen trying to get in. Herrington walked outside to find out for himself.</p>




Jeff Herrington, a cook at a luxury resort in the heart of Muskoka, was preparing a late-night meal at about 10 p.m. last Wednesday when a guest told him that a bear was at the back door of the kitchen trying to get in. Herrington walked outside to find out for himself.





That almost proved fatal.





Black bear encounters with humans in southern Ontario have exploded this summer, according to resort owners and Ministry of Natural Resources statistics.





The black bear staring at Herrington at Clevelands House in Minett, Ont. was about 250 pounds. It charged him.





The 37-year-old turned, ran and dove into Lake Rosseau. The bear gave up the chase, but two days later the bear was back, hissing at guests. It charged twice at officers called to the scene and five bullets were needed to kill it.















Spring hunt



  • Resort owners fear that the cancellation of the spring bear hunt in 1999 has led to the increase in the bear population, although the ministry disputes this.



 
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