The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has reminded New Yorkers to take steps to prevent bears from easily accessing food sources like bird feeders and garbage.
Due to poor natural food availability last fall, many black bears went into their dens with low fat reserves. As they begin to emerge from winter dens, they have already begun seeking out food sources around homes.
DEC has already received several reports that bears are knocking down bird feeders to eat the seed. Feeding bears either intentionally, which is illegal, or unintentionally through careless practices around properties, has consequences for entire communities.
DEC advises everyone who lives in or visits bear country to remove items that are attractive to bears. Now is the time to take down bird feeders, store garbage inside secure buildings and feed pets indoors.
Allowing bears to find food naturally keeps them out of trouble and reduces negative interactions with people and property.
For more information about how to reduce human/bear conflicts, visit DEC’s website.
Photo of Black bear courtesy DEC.