Province Restricts Access To Missinaibi Provincial Park

September 7, 2005

PROVINCE RESTRICTS ACCESS TO MISSINAIBI PROVINCIAL PARK
Precautionary Measures Taken To Ensure Public Safety

TORONTO – The Ontario government is restricting access to certain interior areas of Missinaibi Provincial Park as a precautionary measure following a black bear attack on campers there yesterday, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay announced today.

At 5:30 p.m. on September 6, a female camper was killed by a bear in a backcountry campsite on Missinaibi Lake. A male camper was subsequently airlifted to St. Joseph’s hospital in Sudbury with serious lacerations resulting from the attack.

“Our condolences are offered to the families of both individuals and our thoughts are with them at this time” said Ramsay. “In the interest of public safety, we are restricting access to certain areas of the park until further notice.”

Ministry conservation officers and the Ontario Provincial Police are using canine units to track the bear. The ministry is also using a helicopter to find campers in the remote area of the park and advising them to move to the organized campground away from where the incident occurred.

Until further notice, the following access points to the interior will be closed to campers and day users:

  • Access via Lake Missinaibi from Barclay Bay Campground. The organized campground remains open.
  • Access from the Town of Missinaibi via road or CPR rail (Budd car) access through Crooked and Dog Lakes.
  • Access via CPR rail (Budd car) at Balkow Lake.

Campers in provincial parks, particularly in northern and central Ontario, are reminded that while bear attacks are extremely rare, it is necessary to take precautions while in bear country. Since 1991, more than 120 million people have visited provincial parks without a fatality related to a bear attack. The last bear attack fatality in an Ontario provincial park occurred in 1991 in Algonquin.

Contacts:

Anne-Marie Flanagan
Minister’s Office
416-327-0654

Jolanta Kowalski
Communications Services Branch
416-314-2106

Disponible en français:
www.mnr.gov.on.ca
www.OntarioParks.com