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Black Bear Do's and Don'ts


Black bears are very common and may have become habituated to human food and garbage in many areas. While the chances of being injured by a black bear are very low, most human injuries are associated with black bears which have been eating human food or garbage. In addition to being illegal, feeding bears, intentionally or unintentionally, increases the potential for human injury and private property damage. In many cases, this results in the death of a bear. Ultimately, A Fed Bear is a Dead Bear!

 

You can help ensure the well-being of bears and their habitat by following the guidelines listed below. Learning to live with bears is fundamental to the quality of life to be enjoyed by visitors and residents in bear country.

 

Never, Never, feed bears or leave food out for pets, or other wild creatures to lure them up close for that perfect photo. Bears and other animals will return in an attempt to get another free meal after you have gone home. Often, the next visitor has to deal with a problem which you may have created.

Dispose of your trash in bear proof containers, if available.

 

Do not overfill or stack garbage outside of the container. Be sure that the latches engage after closing the door. If bear proof containers are not available, store your garbage in your garage or similar structure until trash day. If curbside garbage pick up is provided, put your trash out on the morning it will be picked up. While most garbage can shelters are attractive, they are not bear proof.


DO make birdfeeders and bird food inaccessible by discontinuing the feeding of birds from late March through November or by hanging feeders at least ten feet above the ground and six feet away from tree trunks.


DO eliminate food attractants by placing garbage cans inside a garage or shed. Add ammonia to trash to make it unpalatable.


DO clean and store grills away after use.


DONíT intentionally feed bears. Bears that become accustomed to finding food near year home may become ďproblem bears.


DONíT leave pet food outside overnight.


DONíT add meat or sweets to a compost pile.




IF YOU ENCOUNTER A BEAR...


DO NOT RUN. 
This may stimulate a bear’s instinct to chase and attack.


IF THE BEAR HAS NOT SEEN YOU,
  stay calm, and back away slowly and give the bear room to escape. Talk out loud to make sure the bear is aware of your presence.


IF THE BEAR HAS SEEN YOU, 
back away slowly while facing the bear. If you have small children with you, pick them up so that they don’t run or panic. Give the bear plenty of room to escape.


TRY TO SHOW THE BEAR 
that you may be a danger to it. Make yourself appear larger, stand tall, open a jacket or shirt, yell, bang pots or pans, make a general commotion.


FIGHT BACK IF A BEAR ATTACKS YOU
Use rocks, sticks, binoculars, cameras or any object that is available.


REPORT AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR IMMEDIATELY
Call your local Department of Fish and Game Monday through Friday between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM. After hours call the local police or sheriff’s office and ask to be put in contact with the local Department of Fish and Game.




BEARS SEEN WHEN HIKING OR CAMPING

Bears normally leave an area once theyíve sensed a human. If you see a bear, enjoy it from a distance. Aggression by bears towards humans is exceptionally rare.

 

DO make your presence known by making noise and waving your arms if you see a bear while hiking.

 

DO keep dogs on a leash and under control. A roaming dog might be perceived as a threat to a bear or its cubs.

 

DO walk away slowly if you surprise a bear nearby.

 

DONíT cook food near your tent or store food inside your tent. Instead, keep food in a secure vehicle or use rope to suspend it between two trees.

 

DONíT climb a tree, but wait in a vehicle or building for the bear to leave an area.




BEARS, LIVESTOCK AND BEEHIVES

Bears occasionally attack livestock and damage beehives.

 

DO protect livestock with electric fencing and move livestock into barns at night if possible.

 

 DO reinforce beehives to prevent them from being knocked over or protect them with electric fencing.




DO report bear sightings

 

Experience has shown that a single wandering bear can be responsible for numerous sightings reported to the Wildlife Division. Experience has also shown that, given an avenue for escape, bears will usually wander back into more secluded areas. People should not feed bears, either intentionally or unintentionally. Bears that associate food with people become problem bears that will not be tolerated by all property owners. 

 

What do you think? Comments Here!

The probability of a bear attacking a human is exceptionally low. Therefore, the mere presence of a bear does not necessitate its removal. However, state or federal agencies may attempt to remove bears from urban locations when there is little likelihood that they will leave on their own and when they are in positions where darting is feasible. 

 

Source: Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection & the California Department of Parks and Recreation, The California Department of Fish & Game, and The US Forest Service Department of Agriculture.

 

 

 

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