Shared: Georgian Bay General Hospital, Monsignor Castex Catholic School take precautions after bear spotted
MIDLAND – The appearance of a black bear at Georgian Bay General Hospital caused concern and increased caution in the facility and at a nearby elementary school Sept. 16, but no public warning from the police.
Jackie McLauchlin-Welch, the hospital’s director of comm- unications, said the animal was spotted in the ambulance area around lunchtime.
“An incoming Ornge helicopter spotted it and scared it away,” she said. “We notified all our staff and patients to take extra precautions.”
The Midland Police Service, Huronia Animal Control and nearby Monsignor Castex Catholic School were also contacted, said McLauchlin-Welch.
Sgt. Jeff Dorion confirmed police attended the scene after receiving reports about the bear sighting. However, no public notification was made to warn nearby residents of the potential danger.
The Mirror made repeated phone calls to Chief Mike Osborne and Insp. Ron Wheeldon to ask why police did not alert the public, but the calls were not returned.
Monsignor Castex principal Mario Melchiorre said the hospital’s notification was very much appreciated.
“They were being good neighbours,” he said.
Melchiorre said students were kept indoors during their final recess period for safety reasons.
“We contacted the police department and made them aware and requested their presence at the end of the day,” he said.
Melchiorre confirmed no one at the school saw a bear.
“I went out to check the area and I saw nothing,” he said. “It was disappointing to a number of our students, let me tell you.”
– With files from Travis Mealing
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