top of page

Some basic rules help protect black bears

~Wildlife education~

Each year many bears and other wildlife are killed because of human decisions and behaviour. The North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre has been caring for orphaned bear cubs since 2005. All orphans who arrive at NIWRA have lost their mother due to various circumstances: vehicle collisions, industrial accidents or being a nuisance to humans.

This bear can't resist the easy calories found in a bag of garbage.

Sixty percent of nuisance bear calls are due to garbage as an attractant. Being opportunists, bears can receive more calories from garbage in ten minutes than from foraging in the forest all day.

Help protect bears by following these basic rules:

· Put your garbage out in the morning of pick-up, not the night before.

· Consider taking down your bird feeders during the summer.

· Feed your pets indoors.

· If you have a backyard compost, maintain it properly. Do not add fish, meat, fat, oils, unrinsed eggshells, cereals/grains or any cooked food.

· Clean barbeques by burning off the grill and cleaning out the grease trap. Store the barbecue indoors.

· Keep feed for farm animal indoors.

· Pick fruit as it ripens since ripe fruit has a high caloric value which is highly sought after by bears.

· Be aware of other sources of smells that attract bears: beehives, berry patches and smokehouses.

A bear is attracted to food remains on a BBQ. Photo (c) Sylvia Dolson

The next time you visit NIWRA, come see Rae, our non-releasable permanent resident ambassador black bear.

Orphaned black bear cubs at NIWRA are reared with minimal human contact to avoid habituation to better their chances of surviving in the wild when released. They may go for weeks or months without seeing anyone (except perhaps the occasional visit from the veterinarian for a check-up). NIWRA visitors can view them on closed circuit TV at the base of the eagle flight enclosure building.

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!




Recent Articles
bottom of page