This article comes from the Manitoba Government, but is good advice anywhere as bears are now commonplace even in towns and cities if there is food available. Take heed.
Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship reminds Manitobans that black bears are currently increasing their food intake to prepare for hibernation later this fall. As autumn approaches, black bears may travel through populated areas in search of ripening fruit and acorns. Residents and visitors to bear country can reduce the risk of an encounter by removing all food attractants.
People are encouraged to:
• remove all ripened or fallen fruit in the morning and before dusk;
• remove all bird feeders until November when bears have entered their dens;
• store garbage in a sealed, bear-resistant container or secure building until just prior to pickup;
• feed pets and store their food indoors;
• clean barbeques thoroughly after every use, including the grease trap; and
• compost food items indoors.
Bears are wild animals and must be respected. When in bear country:
• always assume bears are in the vicinity, even if no recent sightings or problems have been reported;
• never approach or feed a bear;
• carry bear spray and know how to use it;
• keep dogs on a leash and do not let them run toward a bear; and
• be aware of your surroundings, make noise, travel in groups and do not use earphones to listen to music when outdoors.
For more information about how to reduce conflicts with black bears and what to do during a bear encounter, visit http://www.manitoba.ca/blackbear.
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