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Health, Science and Environment

Bears are waking up and may be headed towards your backyard

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As hibernation seasons end, bears are searching for their next meal and may end up in your backyard. Officials are warning residents to secure potential food sources.

With more sunlight and warmer temperatures, comes more wildlife. Bears are waking up after their winter hibernation and are on the hunt for their next meal.

 

Officials said bears are typically in search of new plants and roots, but certain items on your property are even more attractive.

 

Ashley Autenrieth is a bear specialist with the Department of Natural Resources.

 

“If you had been asleep  basically for several months, you are going to go to any food source that you can find at that point in time. They are also looking for the easiest meal possible and so what we run into often times is that means garbages, bird feeders, animal food left out, and things of that nature.”

 

Autenrieth said bears are drawn to bird seed, pet food, and garbage because they are reliable, high calorie sources of food.

 

She said bears will habitually visit homes if they find food on that property.

 

Autenrieth said residents should keep their bird feeders inside for the next couple months, feed pets indoors, and keep garbage inside until the morning of pickup to avoid unwanted visitors.