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HomeOutdoorsPrevent conflicts with bears this spring by being BearWise

Prevent conflicts with bears this spring by being BearWise

Andrew Tri, DNR bear project leader, 218-328-8879

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is encour­aging homeowners to remove birdfeeders now and check their property for food sources that could attract bears.

While most of the female bears with cubs and yearlings are still near their denning areas, the mild winter has caused some full-grown bears to emerge from dens early to look around or find a quick, high-calorie snack.

“Bird feeders can become bear feeders,” said Andrew Tri, DNR bear project leader. “Birdseed and grains are very attractive to bears looking for a quick, high-calorie meal. Prevention is key. Once a bear finds a food source, it will like­ly return.”

As bears emerge from hiber­nation, their metabolism grad­ually ramps up as they transi­tion from nibbling on plants to more substantial meals. Food and food odors attract bears, and they can pick up a scent from over a mile away.

Home and cabin owners can prevent bear conflicts now by using the BearWise checklist (files.dnr.state.mn.us/wildlife/bear/bearwise/mn-bearwise-at-home-checklist.pdf) and following these BearWise basics (bearwise.org/six-bearwise-basics):

• Remove bird feeders when bears are active.

• Secure food, garbage and re­cycling.

• Never feed or approach a bear.

• Never leave pet food out­doors.

• Clean and store grills and smokers.

• Alert neighbors to bear activ­ity.

More bear information:

People should be cautious around bears and give them space. If bear problems persist after cleaning up food sources, contact a Minnesota DNR area wildlife office for advice.

To find a local wildlife manag­er, contact the DNR Informa­tion Center at 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367, or visit the wildlife area office contact information (mndnr.gov/areas/wildlife) on the Minnesota DNR website.

For more information on how to live responsibly with bears visit the Minnesota DNR web­site (mndnr.gov/livingwith_wildlife/bears) or the BearWise website (bearwise.org).

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