COLUMBIA, SC (FOX Carolina) – Biologists with the SC Department of Natural Resources said there has been an increase in black bear activity throughout the state, and they urge people who live in areas of bear activity to remove their bird feeders as a precaution.
DNR said black bear breeding season has bears on the move, and bears are hungry and looking for an easy meal. They said bird feeders in people’s yards are among the favorite targets of black bears.
“If a bear has been reported in your area, go ahead and take your feeder down and leave it down,” said Tammy Waldrop, SCDNR black bear biologist stationed in Clemson, in a news release. “Don’t wait until the bear has knocked your feeder down to remove it. If the feeder is taken down and left down, the bear will move on.”
For more information on dealing with black bears, visit: <a href=”https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/K_ooCYEZEqT3Lq17Ah0BQpV?domain=bearwise.org”>https://bearwise.org</a> and learn the Six BearWise At Home Basics.
Waldrop said if a neighborhood hears of a bear in the area, everyone should take their feeders down, and leave them down.
“If only a few people take down the feeders and the rest of the neighbors do not, it does not solve the problem,” Waldrop said.
Waldrop said they key to dealing with wandering bears is not giving them a reason to hang around. Removing any food source that would attract bears will reduce the likelihood of any residential issues.
SCDNR offers these common-sense suggestions to better cope with bears:
Bird feed and feeders: If a bear starts getting into your bird feeders—take the feeders down and put them away for a while; the bear will move on quickly.No garbage: Keep garbage in tightly shut or bear-proof trash cans; garbage left in the open, in an open dumpster, or in the back of a truck is an open invitation for a bear.Pet food storage: Store pet food properly if kept outside; put pet food in airtight storage containers and don’t leave leftover food out in the open.Clean grills: Keep charcoal and gas grills covered and clean to keep food odors from attracting bears.Beehives: If you’re going to have beehives in bear territory, protect your investment with an electric, bear-proof fence.No feeding: A bear that becomes accustomed to having food provided is an accident waiting to happen; don’t feed a bear it promotes nuisance behavior.
While people may be excited about seeing a bear, DNR wants to remind people that bears are wild animals and should be left alone.
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