For the past several days, TWRA officials have been attempting to trap a black bear that has reportedly been causing problems around the North. N. St. and Sherwood Forest area of Johnson City.
Wildlife Officer David Crum reports that the bear has gotten into bird feeders and trash cans and is in the same general area of where nuisance complaints came in last fall.
However, due to inactivity at the trap site, the trap will be removed and the situation will be reevaluated if new sightings are reported.
The TWRA has increased their presence in these areas and will continue to closely monitor the places where bear issues have occurred.
Once a bear is habituated to humans and becomes conditioned on food they can become dangerous. TWRA Region 4 Wildlife Management Research Coordinator Dan Gibbs states, “Food is a bear’s primary attractant and steps should be taken to deter their access to it. The old saying that a fed bear is a dead bear is absolutely true.”
Mr. Gibbs offers some good advice for helping deter bear/human conflicts:
-Secure all garbage & recyclables in an area not easily accessible to bears and place trash outside on pick-up days, not the night before.
-Bird seed/feeders should be removed until the late fall. Utilize flower plantings and birdbaths for viewing opportunities.
-Feed outdoor pets a portion size that will be completely consumed during each meal and securely store pet foods in an area not easily accessible to bears.
-Keep grills & smokers clean and securely stored in an area not easily accessible to bears when not in use.