As spring emerges, so do hungry bears

  • Attractants, such as household garbage, are the main cause of food-conditioned bears that need to be euthanized or relocated. (The Associated Press photo)
    Attractants, such as household garbage, are the main cause of food-conditioned bears that need to be euthanized or relocated. (The Associated Press photo)
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The Appalachia Georgia Friends of the Bears would like to remind the public that the beginning of March is time for the black bears to emerge from den.  The first to wake up are the adult males and subadults in early to mid-March.  Second to emerge are solitary females and sows with yearlings in late March-mid-April.  Finally, are the sows with cubs of the year in mid-April-early May.  They will be out, about and hungry.  

Attractants like birdseed, hummingbird feeders, pet food, livestock food, greasy barbecues, smokers and fish cookers and other wildlife foods can be accessed by black bears.  Minimize attractants and the availability of food rewards throughout your yard and neighborhood.  Appalachia Georgia has approximately 3,000 black bears.  Help us save a bear’s life and remove the attractants.  

The intentional and unintentional feeding of bears teaches them to approach homes and people for food which is a recipe for human-bear conflict.  Studies in Canada have shown that two-thirds of human-bear conflict were related to improperly stored garbage.  Store garbage in a sturdy building or place in an approved bear-resistant trash receptacle, and put it out on the day of pick up goes a long way.  

The Appalachia Georgia Friends of the Bears mission is to reduce human-bear conflict through proactive educational outreach programs, increase public awareness about coexisting with black bears, the use of humane bear deterrents and advocacy.  

Visit BearWise.org and agfriendsofthebears.com for more information on reducing human-bear conflict.  

If you are aware or suspect poaching or feeding of black bears, call the Georgia DNR Ranger Hotline at 1-800-241-4113 (or *DNR for AT&T Mobility customers) 24/7! 

(By Gerald D. Hodge, Jr., Founder, Appalachia Georgia Friends of the Bears)