Be ‘bear-wise’ this spring

| 24 Apr 2024 | 11:35

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation is reminding New Yorkers to remove or secure outdoor food sources that may attract black bears. Throughout the spring and early summer months, black bears have depleted fat reserves and will search extensively for easily obtainable, calorie-dense foods, which can lead to an increase in the potential for human-bear conflicts near homes and residential areas, especially before the spring green-up when natural food sources for bears are scarce.

Across New York, black bears are emerging from their winter dens and may seek out human-created food sources. Repeat access to these food sources can make bears bolder, so following these BearWise basics will help keep bears wild and prevent the potential for human-bear conflicts:

- Empty bird feeders and clean spilled seed from feeders; let nature feed the birds from spring through fall.

- Secure garbage and recycling cans or store them in a sturdy building.

- Clean or remove all residual grease and food from grills and smokers.

- Keep pet and livestock food indoors and those with chicken coops or apiaries should consider installing an electric fence to protect flocks and hives.

- Neighbors should alert neighbors to any bear activity so they can take these same precautions.

New Yorkers are advised to never feed or approach bears. Feeding bears intentionally is dangerous and illegal. Bears that become habituated to being fed can become a threat to people and property.

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation