As summer heats up, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and California Department of Fish and Game shared the following information about bears Tuesday.
Encounters with Black Bears have been numerous over the past fifteen years. Foothill neighborhoods are especially apt to have bear visitors during summer and fall months during years when it is hot and there is not a lot of rainfall. Eating from fruit trees and drinking from and swimming in pools, spas and ponds are activities that will most likely increase if the bear populations continue to increase.
WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT BEARS
- Bears don't want to play, they just want humans to go away.
- Gatherings of people watching the bears, smelling like humans and making noises scare the bears. Once scared, they just want to go home to the forest. You can help them by going home too.
- Bears are wild animals and unpredictable.
- Mama bears are especially protective of their cubs.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM BEARS
It is always wise to give a bear as much room as you possibly can. If you see a bear in a residential community, leave the area and call 9-1-1.
Stash Your Food and Trash:
Bears and other animals are attracted to anything edible or smelly.
- Store garbage in bear-proof containers, or store garbage in your garage until pick-up.
- Keep food indoors or in airtight and odor-free containers.
- Put away picnic leftovers; clean BBQ grills.
- Keep pet food inside, and bird feeders away.
- Pick up fallen tree fruit as soon as possible, or protect fruit trees with electric fencing.
- Remove cosmetic fragrances and other attractants, including bird feeders and compost piles.
- Install or request bear-proof trash containers
Bear Country Precautions:
- Keep a close watch on children, and teach them what to do if they encounter a bear.
- While hiking, make noise to avoid a surprise encounter with a bear.
- Never keep food in your tent.
- Store food and toiletries in bear-proof containers or in an airtight container in the trunk of your vehicle.
- Keep a clean camp by cleaning up and storing food and garbage immediately after meals.
- Use bear-proof garbage cans whenever possible or store your garbage in a secure location with your food.
- Never approach a bear or pick up a bear cub.
- If you encounter a bear, do not run; instead, face the animal, make noise and try to appear as large as possible.
- If attacked, fight back.
- If a bear attacks a person, immediately call 911.
When wild animals are allowed to feed on human food and garbage, they lose their natural ways – often resulting in death for the animal.
Have you ever encountered a bear? What did you do?