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Avoid Confrontations With Emerging Bruins
Keep Maryland’s Black Bears Wild
Annapolis, Md. (April 2, 2009) - The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is reminding citizens that live in or visit bear country that they can help keep Maryland’s black bears wild.
Bears emerge from their dens in April and begin looking for food after being in or near their dens for several months. Natural foods are often scarce in the early spring, sometimes causing bears to cover great distances in search of adequate nutrition. During this time, bears are easily attracted to human-provided food sources, usually creating a problem for both the bears and people. Bears can easily become habituated to human-provided food sources and begin to associate people with food. This can lead to potentially dangerous situations for both people and bears.
“Keeping bears wild is a community effort that benefits both bears and people,” said Harry Spiker, DNR Game Mammal Section Leader. “Using care to avoid attracting bears now can help keep them away throughout the year.”
Trash and birdfeeders are two potential food sources that often lure bears into developed areas.
Steps should be taken to avoid a visit from a bear:
- Keep trash locked in a bear- proof trash container or inside a building until the day of trash pick-up.
- Remove trash often so food odors are less likely to attract unwanted wildlife.
- Rinse or clean trash cans with ammonia after they are emptied.
- Remove birdfeeders from April through November as bears are active during these months.
Songbirds will not suffer. There are plenty of natural food sources available during these months. At the very least, it is recommended that birdfeeders be brought in at night when bears are most active. This prevents bears from eating the birdseed, destroying the feeder or becoming habituated to people.
Maryland’s black bear population is centered in Garrett, Allegany, Washington and Frederick counties. For more information on living with black bears please call the Western Region DNR Service Center at 301-777-2136 or visit us online http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/bbmd.asp.
April 2, 2009
Contact: Ray Weaver
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov