Harrisburg, PA

Warning Issued on Bears Waking Up

Gregory Vellner

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Where's my food, asks the black bear.Unsplash

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Game Commission is advising residents to “reduce negative bear-human interactions” now that black bears are emerging from winter dens and may be bad-tempered or irritable due to hunger following hibernation

Natural food sources are low right now, said the commission, and black bears may go after other, more accessible foods.

“During this time of year when natural food sources are low,” said Emily Carrollo, black bear manager, state Game Commission, “bears are more likely to seek whatever food is easily accessible.”

Bird feeders, trash cans and pet food are among the targeted food sources right now, the commission warned, saying black bears are omnivores and primarily eat a diet of hard and soft masts, carrion, and some meat.

The Game Commission said residents should take precautions.

“The Game Commission recommends bringing potential bear snacks like pet food or bird feeders in at night or entirely removing them if bears continually return,” the commission said. “Keep trash cans inside until the morning of collection day when possible and regularly clean and remove grease from grills.”

A black bear can recall where it previously found the easily accessible food snack and will return for more, said the commission.

“They will often come back for another easy meal, and with each returning trip they slowly lose their fear of people, making bolder attempts to access food, which can lead to property damage or worse,” according to Carrollo.

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As a professional journalist for several years -- reporter, editor, feature writer, columnist -- I handled a range of subjects. Breaking news, investigative series, government action, feature events, and staff feature writer with national entertainment magazine interviewing stars including Tom Selleck, Mel Brooks and Danny DeVito. No matter the topic, certain ingredients are key: truth, facts, objectivity, balance.

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