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August 25, 2011

Safety Tips for Bear Country

Being bear-aware will keep you and the bears safe.

All Animals magazine

  • iStock

1. Don’t place food near open windows or feed pets outdoors. Clean food scraps and grease from grills. Empty refrigerators when leaving for extended periods.

2. Keep garbage, recycled materials, compost, and pet food indoors, or use specially made bear-resistant containers. Freeze smelly leftovers and don’t put trash out until garbage day.

3. Keep doors and windows locked, or locked open with a gap too small for bears. To reduce odor, spray disinfectant around doors and windows and inside trash cans.

4. Take hummingbird feeders inside at night. Hang all other types of feeders only in winter.

5. Minimize fallen fruit, weeds, overgrown grass, and other attractants of bear prey such as mice or voles. Stack firewood on pallets away from the house and remove bark, which can house bear-attracting insects.

6. Chase black bears out of your yard by shouting or throwing sticks, stones, or tennis balls. You may need to direct bear repellent (pepper spray) at the animal’s face or call wildlife managers for assistance.

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