Simple human foods – sunflower seeds, chickens, and trash – lead to the deaths of bears in our area each year. Why? Because once bears locate these easy sources of food they can become conditioned to quickly favor them over more difficult to find and less calorie-laden natural foods such as plants, berries and acorns.
Bears accessing human foods near people and their homes puts residents and their property at risk. And bears lingering near people are at a much higher risk of being killed by vehicles, shot by landowners or destroyed as nuisances by wildlife officials.
A bear that has accessed human foods is nearly certain to come into conflict with people sooner or later, and once bears learn to access these foods it is very difficult to change their unwanted behavior. The most effective way to reduce human-bear conflict and protect the welfare of both people and bears is to prevent bears from ever accessing trash and other human food attractants in the first place.
It’s that simple… and that difficult. Don’t let your chickens, trash or bird feeders kill a bear!
Remove the food and you remove the bear.
“Common complaints are bears breaking into garbage enclosures or sheds, damage to fruit trees and bears breaking into homes and vehicles. All of these are directly related to garbage, which historically accounts for >95% of the total number of calls received.” — Carl Lackey, Nevada Black Bear Status Report, 2009