TWRA receives more calls regarding black bear in spring and early summer than any other time of year. Movement of young bears takes them into new, unknown territory. Human outdoor activities such as gardening, hiking, camping and grilling increase the potential for humans to spot a bear and for bear-human discord.
Humans unknowingly attract and provide for wild animals, including black bear, around their homes. Attractants include bird feeders, trash, bird baths and pet food bowls with leftover food. These things can unintentionally lure bears and other unwanted wildlife closer to people. Following a few guidelines can decrease negative interactions and help bears stay wild. Visit bearwise.org to learn more.
1. Never Feed or Approach Bears Intentionally. Feeding bears or allowing them to find anything that smells or tastes like food teaches bears to approach homes and people looking for more. Bears will defend themselves if a person gets too close, so don’t risk your safety and theirs!
2. Secure Food, Garbage and Recycling. Food and food odors attract bears, so don’t reward them with easily available food, liquids or garbage.
3. Remove Bird Feeders When Bears Are Active. Birdseed and grains have lots of calories, so they’re very attractive to bears. Removing feeders is the best way to avoid creating conflicts with bears.
4. Never Leave Pet Food Outdoors. Feed pets indoors when possible. If you must feed pets outside, feed in single portions and remove food and bowls after feeding. Store pet food where bears can’t see or smell it.
5. Clean & Store Grills. Clean grills after each use and make sure that all grease, fat and food particles are removed. Store clean grills and smokers in a secure area that keeps bears out.
6. Alert Neighbors to Bear Activity. See bears in the area or evidence of bear activity? Tell your neighbors and share information on how to avoid bear conflicts. Bears have adapted to living near people; now it’s up to us to adapt to living near bears.