A bear cub spotted on the east end of Steinbach Monday has still not been captured.

Sergeant Bob Windsor is a Conservation Officer from Steinbach. Windsor says they were notified on Monday of the tiny bear seen near the bridge along Loewen Boulevard. He notes it is quite possible this is an orphan. 

Windsor says Monday's sighting came one week after an earlier report of a cub up in a tree on a residential yard in that same area. He notes a dog underneath that tree kept the bear from coming down until about 8:30 that evening. Windsor says in that particular incident a neighbour reported seeing a larger bear nearby earlier in the day. He notes that was likely the cub's mother.

"We didn't have any reports about this for a week, until (Monday)," says Windsor. "So, it is possible there is an orphan bear in that area."

Windsor says if they capture the cub, they will send it to Black Bear Rescue Manitoba in Stonewall. 

For those suggesting this cub may have become an orphan after last week's shooting of a bear near Steinbach Regional Secondary School, Windsor says that is not the case. He says the bear that was put down on May 20th was a male bear. 

Windsor says in situations where they need to relocate a bear, they will either catch the animal in a trap or chemically immobilize it. For example, on Monday there was a female and two cubs in a tree on a residential yard near Richer. Windsor says they immobilize the animals and give them ear tags so that they can be recognized again. They are then relocated. Windsor says usually they are brought to an area between East Braintree and Sprague, which is the best remote area that Conservation has access to.  

"Relocate them out to there and hopefully not see them again," he adds.

If it feels like there has been an increase in bear sightings this year in Steinbach, guess again. Windsor suggests there has been an average number of bear sightings this year, noting the odd one will wander into town, usually because it is lost and scared. 

"When we do encounter that, we'll try to chase them the most direct route to get them out of the city and away from people where safety won't be an issue," he explains. "But I wouldn't say there's any more this year, it's about average from what we've had in years gone by."

According to Windsor, there is a very healthy bear population in the southeast, benefiting from a good food supply.

"Especially with corn and the amount of corn that's grown, a lot of these bears will end up in corn fields during the fall time," he says. "Very good food source, readily available. So, they are very healthy as a result and from that they will have bigger litters and there's definitely no shortage of bears around."

Meanwhile, for those living in bear country, Windsor says you should expect to see the odd one wandering through your yard. But his suggestion is to not make your yard a happy place for the bear to spend time. Tools like an air horn can help to scare bears away. 

But Windsor says his best advice is to remove all bear attractants from your yard, particularly food sources.

"I'd say probably two-thirds of our bear complaints we get, the bird feeder is the attractant," he says. 

His suggestion is to remove bird feeders from your yard from spring until early November. 

"If you get rid of the attractant, you'll get rid of the bear," he says. 

For those who spot a bear in Steinbach, Windsor says the best number to call is 1-800-782-0076. 

"When there is a bear in a community, that's of higher concern," he says. "So, we'll respond as quick as we can and try to move the bear away."