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Black bear conflicts can be avoided

By Sun Advocate

In the wake of black bear sightings across the country, the fund for animals, a national animal protection organization, is offering tips for people to avoid conflicts with bears.
Black bears are timid creatures who are usually not aggressive toward humans, yet people fear these animals unnecessarily, especially in areas where black bears are reestablishing their range and people are not familiar with them.
“While many people assume black bears are dangerous, people are much more likely to be killed by bee stings, dog bites, lightning, or being shot in a hunting accident than by a bear,” stated Michael Markarian, president of the animal foundation.
“By following simple tips, people can reduce or eliminate bear problems by eliminating the odors and food sources that attract bears to our homes and campsites.”
The following tips will help eliminate bear and human conflicts.
•Utilize bear-proof trash cans and keep them in an inaccessible area.
•Feed dogs and cats inside the camp and store their food inside as well.
•Remove bird feeders if they attract bears.
•Eliminate attractive food aromas by cleaning and storing barbecue grills after each use (remember the grease trap) and, for the same reason, do not burn garbage or place food scraps in the compost pile.
•Leave soiled diapers and diaper pails inside.
“People assume hunting bears is the answer, but recreational hunting does not target individual problem bears or eliminate the sources of food that attract bears and create problems,” added Markarian.
“Trying to reduce bear problems by a general hunt is like trying to reduce crime by shooting into a crowded room.”
The fund for animals offers an urban wildlife hotline that provides non-lethal, long-term solutions to bear problems and other wildlife conflicts free of charge at 203-389-4411.

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