If bears are in your neighborhood, you should initiate preventive measures to avoid encouraging nuisance bear behavior.
Efforts should be made to secure all garbage containers or deposit all edible wastes in separate containers that are stored where bears cannot gain access. When possible, residents in bear habitat should keep their garbage inside their home or closed utility shed in double-bagged garbage bags and put garbage out the morning of pick up, not the night before, to limit the time a bear will have access to your garbage.
In areas where garbage pick up is early in the morning, state wildlife agencies can work with local communities and waste management companies to schedule later pick up times to allow for this preventive measure. To further eliminate attractive odors, wash the refuse containers about once a week with disinfectant solution. Bear resistant garbage cans are another alternative.
For more information on garbage management in occupied bear habitat, contact the BBCC.
Pet foods as well as bird feeders can attract bears. If pet food is allowed to remain outdoors for extended periods of time a bear will surely find it, eat it, and will come back looking for more.
Although feeding wild black bears is illegal in Louisiana and Arkansas, and strongly discouraged in Mississippi and Texas, problems still occur when people, fascinated by a bear near their home or workplace, toss food out the door so that they can watch or photograph the animal. In these situations, both the humans and the bear quickly lose fear of each other.
Fear of humans is a bear's most important survival mechanism.
Once bears lose their fear of humans there is little incentive for them to avoid circumstances that bring the humans and bears together. This could easily result in a dangerous situation, both for people and the bear. It must be remembered that these are wild animals that may react to the presence of humans in unpredictable ways.
Fear of humans is a bear’s most important survival mechanism. Once bears lose that fear, they will scavenge for food in your neighborhood. It’s up to residents to discourage nuisance behavior from bears.