Smarter Than the Average Bear

Above: Photo taken of a bear in a tree off of Fawnskin Drive courtesy of the Morey’s. See more bear pictures here.

Locals have nicknamed one of the bears that has moved into town to dine on the garbage left out for pick up on Wednesday night, “Yogi.” One email said he was on his way to a “picca nicca”–aka trash digging.

But don’t think the local bears are anything like Yogi Bear or Boo Boo–they are wild animals.

Since the wildfires the sightings of wildlife has increased significantly. Not only did one neighbor see a cougar jump off her roof but another near Gold Mountain saw “the beast of Big Bear” ambling down her road during the late morning hours.

Up the road, the bear garbage gourmet has learned how to pop off the locking lids of “bear proof” trash cans.

Although you might like the close wildlife viewing, for the welfare of the furry freeloader it is best to follow the following tips:

  • Rinse food cans and wrappers before disposal. Keep garbage cans clean and deodorize them periodically.
  • Don’t leave trash, groceries or animal feed in your car.
  • Place trash cans at the curb on collection day rather than the night before. If trash must be kept outside, invest in a bear-proof garbage cage or keep inside your garage or shed.
  • Harvest fruit off trees as soon as it is ripe, and promptly collect fruit that falls.
  • Only provide bird feeders outside during the coldest months of the year—generally November through March—and always hang feeders so they are inaccessible to bears.
  • Plant your garden in the open, away from cover.
  • Don’t keep an open compost pile, especially one in which household leftovers are dumped. Burying compost is also not advisable, as bears will easily dig it up if motivated by enticing odors.
  • Keep barbecue grills that are on decks or close to the house clean. If possible, move the grill well away from the house when not in use.
  • Don’t feed pets outdoors and remove their water when you bring them in.
  • Block access to potential sleeping sites such as crawl spaces under decks and buildings.
  • Don’t leave any scented products outside. Non-food items such as suntan lotion, insect repellent, soap, and candles can serve as attractants

For additional tips for living with bears try the Wind River Bear Dog website or download and print the Living with California Black Bears brochure (PDF).

You can also read what the Arizona Department of Fish & Game black bear page has to say. Learn more at the Lake Tahoe Council for Wild Bears or read about the black bear challenges Ann Bryant and her volunteers face.

If you follow the above common sense tips you can help reduce the chance of having these animals being called in as nuisance critters.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 21st, 2008 and is filed under Mountain Lake Resort, Mountain Wildlife, Small Town Living.

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