While they may seem harmless (or even cute), don’t poke the bear! A recent statement by the DEC encourages New Yorkers to be bear aware and help reduce any conflict with these creatures.
“DEC is receiving reports of bears roaming neighborhoods in several parts of upstate New York,” DEC Commissioner Seggos said in a statement. “We are encouraging New Yorkers to help reduce the potential for negative interactions with bears by removing the things bears find attractive like pet food and trash.”
How Can I Be Bear-Smart?
The summertime is a busy season for black bears. This is the time that they forage for food in preparation for the upcoming winter. This increase in activity could mean that you may find some bear friends in your backyard.
There are a few simple tips to help keep bears out of your backyard, your trash bins, and to limit any negative interactions.
- Secure any garbage bags indoors overnight
- Do not put trash out until the day of pickup
- Remove bird feeders – If it’s close to the ground, bears will snack on the feed
- Clean grease off outdoor grills
- Do not feed pets outdoors
- Secure livestock food
Removing the things that bears find attractive, such as easily accessible food, will limit negative human-bear interactions.
Black bears very rarely approach humans in a predatory manner. If you come in contact with a black bear, remain calm. Do not approach it, run, or make loud, high-pitched noises – it will likely not attack if unprovoked. Eliminating enticing things such as food and trash will keep your community safe from any bear harm.