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Triple the Cumberland County cub cuteness

Joanne Gibson photographed this mother bear with her three cubs on Sunday near her home on the Tyndal Road.
Joanne Gibson photographed this mother bear with her three cubs on Sunday near her home on the Tyndal Road.

EAST AMHERST – Talk about your encounter of the cutest kind.

Joanne Gibson was looking out the back window of her Tyndal Road home near Amherst on Sunday evening when she saw a rather large bear approaching the house.
“We get bears every year out here and usually they’re very close to the woods, but this one was getting close to the house,” Gibson said. “We had a fresh load of topsoil put in and I think that was attracting her. She must have smelled the fresh mud.”
Gibson went onto her deck and made as much as noise as she could, urging the bear to retreat to her den. Finally her husband, Steve, made some noise by honking a vehicle horn and they figured the bear would be gone for good. But, just a few moments later it returned and this time it had company.
“He went out and honked the horn and off she went back into the woods. It wasn’t very long that we looked out and she was back again, but this time she had three little cubs with her,” she said. “They stayed there for an hour.”
She called it her Lorne Greene moment in light of the 1970s nature show.
Gibson said there are at least three dens in the back part of the property, so seeing bears is not uncommon. She has seen cubs in the past, but never that close. She estimates the bears got as close as approximately 20 feet from the home.
She used her telephoto lens to take some photos and shared them on social media. The photos were shared more than 500 times within just a few hours.
“We’re used to having bears around, they’re probably the most docile creatures around except when they’re hurt or they have cubs,” she said. “It was definitely unusual to see them this close to the house.”
Gibson said they take lots of precautions including wearing bear bells on their coats when they’re walking. They’re also very careful with compost and garbage so as not to attract their bears too close to the home.
Kim George, a biologist with Natural Resources, said it’s not uncommon to see bears this time of year and for the most part bears are more scared of humans than vice versa.
However, having bears on or around property is an indication that something is attracting them there.
“We normally get a lot of calls around this time of year with people reporting that they’re seeing them,” George said. “Usually they’re looking for a food source and there’s something on the property that’s attracting them. It could be as simple as a bird feeder or a barbecue, or even a bag of compost. They have a really keen sense of smell and are good at locating food sources.”
George said honking your vehicle horn or an air horn, yelling and making a lot of noise are usually enough to scare away a bear. She said people can practice the BAM method should they encounter a bear up close. BAM stands for back away, act big and make a lot of noise.
“If you make a lot of noise they’ll get the idea that there’s danger there and they’ll get out of there,” George said. “Bears really don’t like to come out into the open and they’re generally more active at night. It’s not common to see them come out in the middle of the day, although they sometimes do.”
George said Nova Scotia has a healthy bear population and said Cumberland County has definitely been a hot spot with numerous bear sightings.
darrell.cole@tc.tc
Twitter: @ADNdarrell
 

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