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6th bear encounter
“I've had six bear encounters this year, since June,” said Mezzetta. “It's been a very bad year for bears. They're everywhere.”
The overall black bear population has risen substantially in the province over the past decade, according to the Department of Natural Resources — to about 17,000 from 13,000, around 10 to 15 years ago.
Workers often carry firearms to deal with animals while in the woods, as was the case with Lunn and the two other men who came to Mezzetta's rescue.
“Fortunately for us, we did have a firearm with us,” said Lunn. “Somebody had a nuisance permit, and they do have bear spray that they carry, just in case."
The incident, while scary for Mezzetta, is not deterring him from going back into the woods.
“I'm still going back to work,” he said.