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By LaVonne Ewing
Special to The SUN
Ever curious and resourceful, a black bear’s continuing search for food can lead it straight to your house.
Their super-sensitive noses can sniff out odors — from as far away as 5 miles — of things we humans don’t consider tasty, or even edible, such as your smelly trash, pet food and birdseed, not to mention the now popular backyard chicken “buffets” and hot tub covers baking in the sun (smells like a great big ant hill to a bear).
Once a bear learns that exploring human places yields a bounty of easy, tasty treats, it will keep coming back for more; a habit that can lead to property damage or even injury. Bears that damage property or come into conflict with people often pay with their lives.
“There’s often a rash of bear sightings and other human-bear interactions in June, when juvenile bears are striking out on their own for the first time. They are hungry, lonely and will explore every possible source of food,” says Linda Masterson, author of the “Living With Bears” book. “If they learn to rely on people for food, their days will be numbered. If we teach them to avoid people places, they’ll have a much better chance of living a long and natural life.”
12 bear-smart tips for a bear-proof home
By taking the time to remove attractants and change your habits that attract bears, you could help save a bear’s life, and save yourself a lot of time, trouble and money.