FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission put out a reminder that as summer approaches, it’s important to be “bearwise”.
AGFC officials said that young Arkansas black bears will be striking out on their own early this summer to find their place in the world. Unfortunately, the bears may find themselves in some sticky situations. The Commission usually sees an uptick in nuisance bear complaints each spring and almost all of the culprits are young males that are looking for new territory.
“It’s part of how Mother Nature works,” Myron Means, AGFC large carnivore program coordinator, said. “When it’s time for a female bear to start working on a new litter of cubs, she will allow her daughters to stay in part of her territory, but she chases the young males away. It helps prevent inbreeding and promotes the expansion of the species. But it also means those young males will be on the move, looking for a new place to call home.”
Oftentimes, the bears can wind up in peoples yards or near their homes while looking for a new place to stay.
Means also said it’s important to remove or secure items at home that could attract bears while they’re looking for food, such as trash cans, pet feeders and bird feeders.
Feeding bears can result in them becoming more aggressive or damaging more property as they become less afraid of humans and start searching for more to eat.
“It’s best to simply stop the feeding and make sure the bear gets the hint that it’s not welcome from the beginning,” Means said.
To learn more about what to do if a bear is spotted in your neighborhood, visit www.bearwise.org.