Bears are hungry in the spring and since they are opportunists, they will look for the easiest source of food available.
That could be your garbage, bird feeders, barbecues, or pet food. Once they get a taste of what you offer them, it is a guarantee they will be back to dine.
Bears get more calories from a garbage container than foraging in the forest all day long. Those easy meals help in obtaining the 25,000 calories they consume each day. Their keen sense of smell often drives them into residential areas where they may discover human food or garbage. This scenario makes them into nuisance or food conditioned bears which never has a good ending.
So, what can we do to prevent damage to our residences, possible harm to ourselves and the eventual killing of a nuisance bear. Let us consider our garbage which is an easy target unless it is bear proof. Garbage must be put curbside the morning of pick up, not the night before. Do not store food in outside freezers or fridges.
We all love to feed the birds and hummers but bears are attracted to bird feeders. I have never been a proponent of hummingbird feeders when a beautiful hanging basket or brightly coloured flowers can do the same thing. It can keep the bears away.
It is easy to close the lid on your barbecue when finished thinking you can burn off the remains the next use but bears smell the left-over steak and will try to get at it. Clean your barbecues right after use and store them inside if possible.
Leaving pet food outside will not only attract bears but also raccoons and other domestic animals. This includes leaving dog bones lying around your yard.
There is a long list of bear attractants: beverage containers, garbage, compost, pet food/dishes, BBQ grease, bird seed, oil/fat, fish and fish offal, wastewater from cooking, perfumed items such as soap, deodorant, toothpaste, suntan lotion, insect spray and hair spray. Who would have guessed?
You can help the wildlife in care at NIWRA by making a financial contribution on our secure website. Thank you so much for caring about wildlife!