RALEIGH, N.C. (April 8, 2010) – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is offering a few simple steps to avoid most conflicts with black bears, as sightings and conflicts tend to increase in the spring, when bears emerge from hibernation, looking for food.
The Commission is warning people not to feed, either purposely or inadvertently, animals that wander into backyards, city streets and other residential areas. Feeding a bear rewards it for coming close to people and their homes and makes it more likely to approach again.
While black bears are rarely aggressive toward people, they can become bold when they become accustomed to feeding on human-provided foods, such as garbage and bird seed. Oftentimes, they lose their fear of people.
Contrary to popular belief, wildlife employees will not trap and relocate bears, because this would simply relocate the problem, rather than solve it. The solution is to modify habits, such as how you feed your pet(s) or where you store your garbage, before a problem begins.
Residents can prevent problems by:
- Securing bags of trash inside cans stored in a garage, basement or other secure area, and placing the cans outside, as late as possible, on trash pick-up days – not the night before.
- Purchasing bear-proof garbage cans or bear proofing your existing garbage container with a secure latching system.
- Discontinuing the feeding wild birds during spring and summer, even with feeders advertised as “bear-proof.” Bears are still attracted to seed that spills on the ground.
- Avoiding “free feeding” pets outdoors. If you must feed pets outdoors, make sure all food is consumed and empty bowls are removed.
- Cleaning all food and grease from barbecue grills after each use. Bears are attracted to food odors and may investigate.
For more information and more tips on black bears in North Carolina, read Coexisting with Black Bears at www.ncwildlife.org.
About N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission
Since 1947, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has been dedicated to the conservation and sustainability of the state's fish and wildlife resources through research, scientific management, wise use, and public input. The Commission is the state regulatory agency responsible for the enforcement of fishing, hunting, trapping and boating laws and provides programs and opportunities for wildlife-related educational, recreational and sporting activities. To learn more, visit www.ncwildlife.org.
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