Bears are Awake – and Hungry

Bears coming out of hibernation are hungry.
Bears coming out of hibernation are hungry.

The time for hibernating is over, and now their stomachs are growling. Bears in Wyoming are emerging from their long winter nap, and people who live in bear country are reminded to bear-proof their homes and neighborhoods.

Monica Fella is a bear safety educator with the Sierra Club. She says barbecue grills, pet food, trash and bird feeders are bear favorites that need to be kept out of reach.

She states that while grizzlies and black bears like easy food, they don't like people. When in the backcountry, Fella advises carrying bear pepper spray in case of a confrontation.

Fella says bears addicted to free food are labeled “problem bears,” and while they can sometimes be relocated, most are euthanized. For wildlife watchers who want to spot bears, Falla says males are the first to leave the winter dens, with mothers and cubs following in a few weeks.

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