Eric Richmond is a bear biologist with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. He's been working with these magnificent animals for years and he says this is going to be a challenging Spring.
"This is the worst mast conditions we've had in the last 40 years we've been monitoring it. When they come out of their den, they're gonna be hungry. I was quite surprised when we entered this den to see 3 cubs." says Richmond.
That means this bear has had pretty good success finding food in a year when there was very little nuts and berries. Unfortunately, that often means the bear's been eating off your plate...or your feeder.
Richmond says bears will adapt. "Bears are resourceful, and they're gonna find something to eat and it's not a great distance to where these bears can find some human food, high calorie, high fat. When they come out of the den, they're gonna be looking for food."
Unless you take proper precautions, that food could be in your yard, or even on your back porch. Richmond says you need to take your bird feeders down, keep your trash indoors until pick up day, and make sure your pet food is not laying around in the dish. All that stuff attracts bears, and once they start eating at your place, they'll keep coming back.
"They're like us, they're going to look for an easy meal. If they can find that in the form of garbage or pet food on your back porch, they're going to repeat that behavior and the more the bear repeats that the more of a threat he is to you." says Richmond.
And that threat has to be removed. Unfortunately, through no fault of the bear, the bear has to be put down all because someone didn't do their part to keep the bears in the woods.
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