If you’re planning a visit to Mud Lake, look out for bears! The National Capital Commission (NCC) has sectioned off part of the conservation area for two nights in a row, in an attempt to capture a black bear. While black bears in Ottawa are uncommon, it’s believed this creature has now set-up home on the nature trail.

Visitors to Mud Lake Conservation Area may have noticed some worrying signs from the NCC over the last couple of days.

Two entrances near the trail have been blocked off by the NCC this week, as they attempt to capture a black bear that’s been roaming in the area.

“Danger bear cage in operation,” reads a sign, according to Postmedia via the Ottawa Sun.

The NCC have been attempting to trap the animal for several days, with no confirmed success at the time of writing.

On Wednesday morning, witnesses reportedly spotted the animal taking the bait in one of the cages. However, the bear managed to evade capture.

Black bears are uncommon in O-Town, but this one is believed to have crossed the Ottawa River from Quebec.

It’s been captured on camera by several hikers over the last couple of days, with one local sharing a photo from particularly close.

On the Friends of Mud Lake Facebook page, several locals shared their experiences of running into the animal.

“I turned a corner and came face to face with the bear, just 10 feet away, and it was startled, it began to follow me- I backed away, it got distracted and I got out of sight. I had no idea how massive and tall a "small" bear was. I expected it to be large dog sized. I am in shock,” wrote one person.

Another local urged people to stop posting about the bear, due to concerns that it would encourage encouraging others to visit Mud Lake and disturb the animal.

The NCC posted on the same Facebook page, explaining their relocation efforts to locals.

“A cage will be baited with molasses, which has proven to be an effective attractant for bears in the past,” a spokesperson confirmed. 

Upon securing the animal, they intend to relocate it to a “suitable natural habitat.” If this is unsuccessful, the NCC “will undertake additional appropriate activities.”

Narcity has reached out to the NCC for further information. This article will be updated when a response has been received.

If you're heading up to Mud Lake this weekend, don't forget your bear spray, eh?

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