RAMAPO, N.Y. – A string of recent black bear sightings has prompted Ramapo police to warn town residents not to leave outdoors food sources accessible.
“Bears are very intelligent animals who will capitalize on any opportunity for an easy meal,” police said.
Citing advice from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, police provided a number of tips to avoid conflicts with bears and encourage the animals to move elsewhere.
Remove bird feeders after April 1. New York's black bears begin emerging from their winter dens in middle to late March. Bird feed (such as suet and seeds) is a very strong attraction for bears, even if they can't reach it.
Garbage is extremely attractive to bears! It should always be kept in sealed garbage cans inside a sturdy building like a garage or shed. Anything with an odor can attract a bear. Note: Burning garbage is illegal and may increase its attractiveness to bears. Bear-resistant trash cans are used all over the country to eliminate human-bear conflicts.
If you frequently find bears foraging in your garbage cans, despite proper storage, consider using a bear-resistant trash container. Mask garbage odors with ammonia-soaked rags.
If you have curbside garbage pickup, take out trash just before your scheduled pickup. Do not put garbage at the curb the night before.
Do not place meat or bones in compost piles. Remove the grease can from grills after every use.
Turn the grill on high for several minutes after you are done cooking to burn residual odors off the grill.
Do not place food outside to attract wildlife. Any foodstuffs used to attract birds, squirrels or other wildlife will also attract bears.
Do not feed pets outside. Leftover food or even an empty dish can attract a bear.
Do not operate refrigerators or freezers outside or on porches. Bears can smell what is inside.
Electric fencing is an effective tool for keeping bears out of apiaries, chicken coops, compost and gardens.
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