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Avoid Springtime Conflicts With Bears

Bear in bird feeder

Annapolis, Md. (April 4, 2012) — Bears are beginning to leave their dens and prowl for food now that their long winter slumber has come to an end. Since natural foods are scarce in the early spring, bears will readily take advantage of human-provided food sources. Those living in, or visiting bear country can help keep Maryland’s black bears wild by being proactive and exercising good judgment.

“Keeping bears wild is a community effort that benefits both bears and people,” said the Maryland Department of Resources’ (DNR) Game Mammal Section Leader, Harry Spiker. “A few simple precautionary measures can make all the difference.”

Trash and birdfeeders are two food sources that often lure bears into residential areas. Trash should be locked in bear-proof containers or inside a building until the day pick-up. Additionally, rinsing trashcans with ammonia will help to eliminate any food odors that might attract a bear. Outdoor grills can also be an attractant to bears and should be stored indoors when possible or thoroughly cleaned regularly to remove food residue.

Homeowners should remove birdfeeders from April through November to avoid attracting bears. Songbirds will not suffer from the change, because there are many wild food sources for birds during this time of year. For those who insist on feeding birds during this time, be sure to bring the feeders in at night when most bears are active.

For more on how to avoid bears encounters call the Western Region DNR Service Center at 301-777-2136 or visit

   April 4, 2012

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

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