Given the slow, cold start to the spring, food hasn’t been readily available for wildlife animals such as bears. That’s led to an increase of sightings in certain locations throughout the area.
To take care of the issue, DNR Wildlife Biologist Kay Brockman- Maderas says those who have had sightings where they live should take steps to removing any available food bears can get at.
“That may be your bird feeder, that may be your garbage can, that may be your grill, so please take those down, put them in your garage and remove that food source,” she recommended. “The bear may come back looking for it because it had eaten there in the past, but it won’t find anything, so it’s going to move on and look for food elsewhere.”
If you’re in a neighborhood that’s had bear sightings, the DNR says it’s important to keep your neighbors informed, so that there isn’t someone who may inadvertently leave food out for the bears.
They also remind the public that it’s illegal to feed the bears.
“Quite honestly, it’s just causing what will be a bigger problem for everyone down the road,” says Conservation Warden Mark Schraufnagel. “Once these bears become more and more accustomed to being around people, difficult things happen usually at the expense of the bear. If you do know of someone doing that tell them to knock it off, or if that doesn’t work you can always call the DNR tip line.”
The tip line to call is 1-800-TIP-WDNR.