EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

June 12, 2013

Officials warn residents to avoid bear conflicts

(Continued)

There are ways to stop the problem.

“We can all help to eliminate the huge cost of conflict mitigation and the unfortunate killing of bears,” Ellingwood said. “Never feed bears; insist that Dumpsters have securable metal tops and side doors; properly secure your trash; protect beehives and chickens with electric fence; and take your bird feeders down when bear encounters are likely. Businesses with long histories of bear complaints can eliminate most, if not all, of their bear conflicts by acting before the tourist season to employ bear-smart trash storage systems. With public and commercial cooperation, we can eliminate most bear conflicts and in so doing, we can minimize the need to kill bears.”

Ellingwood said “sows require significant energy” to feed their rapidly growing cubs, and that all bears require significant fat stores to survive from five to six months in their winter dens.

“It should surprise no one that bears will travel many miles in search of human-related foods, particularly during the late spring and early summer when natural bear foods are relatively scarce. Removing bears is not a solution, it’s a short term fix with an unknown outcome,” he said. “By being bear-smart, we benefit our neighbors, our local police force, the Fish and Game Department, USDA Wildlife Services and our wonderful black bear resource. It’s time for everyone to buck-up and do the right thing for our communities and our bears. It’s the New Hampshire way.”

For more information on preventing conflicts with black bears, visit wildnh.com/Wildlife/Somethings_Bruin.htm.

If you have questions about bear-related problems, call a toll-free number coordinated jointly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department: 1-888-749-2327 (1-888-SHY-BEAR).

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