Sharing the forest smartly: “Be Bear Aware”

San Bernardino National Forest, May 15, 2013 – May is “Be Bear Aware” Month and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds the public to act responsibly in bear country. As black bears emerge from hibernation, their search for food often leads them into campsites and residential neighborhoods, where trash and food is readily available. Throughout spring and summer, CDFW receives many calls when bears break into homes, tents and trash bins. But CDFW Bear Program Manager Marc Kenyon reminds us that the mammals are only acting according to nature, and that it is human behavior that needs to change. “Our bear problems are human-caused,” he says. “By taking just a few precautions to secure food and trash, campers and residents can save themselves thousands of dollars in property damage, help protect their families from injury and save the lives of bears. Bears that become habituated to humans or conditioned to eating our food and trash often have to be killed.” Tips for Bear-proofing your Home, Rental or Timeshare: Bears have keen noses and can smell an easy meal from miles away. They can easily tear a front door off its hinges if they smell food left out on the kitchen counter. To protect your family and property from bear break-ins follow these simple tips: Purchase and properly use a bear-proof garbage container. Wait to put trash out until the morning...

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