The N.H. Fish and Game Department is reminding people to take steps until fall to prevent “bear-human conflicts.”
“Bears have an extremely acute sense of smell and long memories,” said Andrew Timmins, a bear biologist with the state agency, in a news release, “so we really need the cooperation of residents and visitors this summer to prevent bears from returning to locations where they previously found food because over time bears will lose some of their natural aversion to humans.”
This, he continued, isn’t in the animals’ best interest.
“Bears are much better off in the wild,” he said.
The release lists several simple steps people can take to help keep a safe distance:
* Don’t feed bears.
* Keep garbage in containers that are airtight, in a garage or other storage area, and instead of bringing trash to the curb the night before a pickup, hold off until the next morning. If you throw your garbage in a dumpster, ask the dumpster company for metal-locking tops and doors that bears can’t get into.
* Don’t put food scraps in compost piles.
* Don’t leave your pets’ food dishes outdoors overnight.
* Clean outdoor grills, and store them when not in use.
* Bees, poultry and other livestock can be protected with electric fences.
* Bears can also be tempted by birdfeeders, and food left on picnic tables and in coolers, the release notes.
More information is available by calling 1-888-SHY-BEAR (1-888-749-2327). The advice available at this toll-free number is coordinated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services and N.H. Fish and Game.