posted at 11:45 am Fri Mar 12th, 2010 by (WherezIt_Staff)
Vermont's black bears are emerging from their winter dens and looking for springtime food sources.
If you have been feeding birds, you can help prevent the bears from getting into trouble by taking down your bird feeders according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.
"We are already getting reports of bears getting into bird feeders," said Fish & Wildlife's Col. David LeCours. "People can help now by removing any food sources that may tempt the bears. That includes taking down bird feeders and not feeding birds until late October."
"Also, don't leave pet food outside, wash down your barbecues after using them, and secure your garbage containers," he added. "And above all, never purposely leave food out for bears. Feeding bears may seem kind, but it is almost a sure death sentence for the them."
"Help keep bears wild," said LeCours. "We care about these bears as much as anyone. Having to destroy one that has become a threat to human safety is not a pleasant experience, and we know that moving them to another location doesn't change their behavior. They continue to seek food near people because they have learned that it works."
Vermont law prohibits a person from killing a bear that has been attracted to any artificial bait or food such as bird seed. The fine for doing so can be as high as $1,000.
Bears often eat seeds in the wild, so a birdfeeder chock full of high-energy seed is a concentrated source of what a bear considers natural food. And they are smart. Once bears learn to obtain food around people's homes, they will be back for more.
To learn about black bears, go to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department's website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com) and look in the Library section for the Black Bear Factsheet.
Waterbury, VT 05676 (Set as Local)