Big Bear, Ca May 7, 2011 3:00 pm – The grizzly bears that named the Big Bear Valley are no longer with us, except at the Moonridge Animal Park. Our local wild bears are the smaller and less aggressive black bears. They are not small animals however, and will be aggressive enough for concern if they are protecting food or cubs. Care should be taken when hiking, fishing, camping, and in your backyard to limit encounters with the bears, for your protection and the animal’s. “Bears are constantly in search of easily obtainable food sources.” says Marc Kenyon, California’s Department of Fish and Game Bear Program Coordinator. It is key to limit food odors that attract bears. When camping, never keep food in a tent. Store food and toiletries in air-tight containers away from your campsite. Use bear-proof garbage cans or pack out trash to a secure location if not available in the campground. Don’t burn or bury food waste. Keep your area clean of anything that might smell good or be food for a bear. “A bear’s fate is almost sealed once it associates human activity with potential food” continues Kenyon. To protect the bears of Big Bear, do not feed or tempt them with human food.