Saturday, June 06, 2009

Bear on Patio Again!

A friend was sitting on my patio last Saturday at 5:00 p.m. when the very large bear came from behind my house. ( I live on El Priet Rd.) It was within 15 feet of her. She was able to slowly walk away and get to safety in my house. She saw it sniffing the air as if it were tracking something.

I've been emailing a ranger in Yellowstone who has a great web site about bears and safety: His response to my email follows. One point he makes is that the bear is probably tracking a food source. I don't keep any food, bird seed, BBQ, etc. outside my house. Also, my garbage cans are down near the garage. I don't put any food items in them until the morning of trash day.

Whatever we can all do to deter the bear would be advisable. It's getting too close for my comfort. Here's his response to my asking what I could do to deter the bear:

"The bear must be making its rounds in the neighborhood. There must be something nearby that is attracting the bear if there are no potential food items in your yard. I don't think placing ammonia in an empty can will prevent the bear from returning. Someone near you is either feeding the bear, or has some sort of food item out that is attracting the bear. Find that location and food item and remove it and the bear will move on. The reason the bear is smelling or appears to be tracking something is just the way bears try and locate food. It may not actually be smelling anything but just trying to see what is out there. Coming up onto your patio is not a good sign. This bear, I am betting, has gotten dog or cat food that was left out on other porches in the area and has learned that this is an easy food source.

"I would call you local Fish and Game Dept and let them know of the situation as well. They may need to fire a few rubber bullets or cracker shells to encourage it to move on."


Anonymous said...

Do us all a favor and just leave him alone........raise a fuss and the wardens will shoot it.

MaryEllen said...

Please remember that the bears we have here are black bears, not grizzlies like at Yellowstone. Black bears are essentially very shy and non-aggressive. It is not likely that your friend was in any danger from the bear. It has never acted aggressively towards any humans. The 'sniffing' behavior isn't any kind of threat. It's just going about its business. It may be attracted to something in your yard or it may just be walking from one place to another - this is not a suburban area where a bear would have to be 'attracted' to something in order to get here. We should all be more careful with our trash (I notice lots of trash cans tipped over in the early mornings) and our pet food... but we should all do that anyway, to deter other wildlife such as coyotes, raccoons, skunks, etc.

On the same note - someone has been feeding the deer again. I can tell by the way they are acting. Please stop it. It will lead to their deaths. And anything you put out to feed deer will also attract bears and other animals.