Typical seasonal bear activity has increased this week. The impending winter encourages the bears to take in as many calories as possible so they will be comfortable as they sleep, without eating, for as long as three to four months. It is not the cold that triggers a bear’s instinct to go into the den; rather it is the lack of food. It is extremely important for people to be extra cautious and not provide them with unnatural food sources. As long as they continue to find food (garbage, birdseed, pet food, unoccupied and accessible kitchens) they will not take their long winter’s nap. Each year there are some bears who do not sleep. Bears thrive on available garbage in winter. If you have a neighbor who is not responsible with his or her garbage the BEAR League recommends you contact your county’s environmental health department, as those agencies enforce the Bear/ Garbage ordinance (in Placer and Eldorado counties it is illegal to allow a bear access to trash).
In both Meeks Bay and Tahoma a bear or bears have been focusing on cars in their attempt to find food. One resident left his back window open after unloading dog food and groceries. The smell was still in the vehicle so the bear went in and tore up the seats while searching for crumbs that had fallen underneath. If cars must sit outside, place an open bowl of pine scented Pinesol on the front seat. This will help mask over any possible food odors.
A bear entered a home in Talmont while the resident and his dog were gone. The bear has entered this house five times through sliding glass doors or single pane windows. A barking dog alarm would be a good solution to this problem.
Residents in Truckee at Pondorosa Palisades are experiencing a rash of garbage related entries into garages. It was discovered that the property management does not allow the homeowners to install bear resistant garbage enclosures, thereby leaving them no choice but to store trash in garages. Unless the garage has a steel door which closes and locks tight, bears can get in or will damage property while trying.
There continues to be reports of entries into homes at Alpine Meadows and a resident on Deer Park had a government bear trap set on his property because of a past break-in. The trap was removed on Wednesday without capturing a bear. It’s important to remember that whatever bear enters a trap will be killed, not relocated.
Rarely is the offending bear the one who is trapped and killed, especially after a time lapse since the “right” bear was in this area. Traps are baited with strong smelling foods and will bait in numerous backwoods bears as well as packs of coyotes and large numbers of raccoons.
Several calls have come in regarding the mom and three cubs in the Brockway area of Kings Beach. They are attempting to find a den site and have been very successful in obtaining lots of garbage from several residents who place their trash out in unsecured containers.
A bear has entered three homes in Timberland. The houses were all empty but one had a full stock of groceries; others had teas and spices. A barking dog alarm was installed in one and recommended for the others.
The California Department of Fish and Game does not relocate bears, they trap and kill them. If you are looking for non-lethal solutions to bear problems, call the BEAR League at 525-7297 or firstname.lastname@example.org