As people start to spend more time in woodland areas this season, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has some tips to avoid conflict with bears. Katie Keen with the DNR tells us the agency has to put down some bears each year because the animals venture out of the woods and get too comfortable being near humans. She says homeowners who live in areas inhabited by bears should remove all bird feeders and only put garbage cans out just before the pickup time.
“If we ever introduce any type of food reward, that actually takes the fear away, fear bears normally have of humans. Because you’re basically training bears to be around us, by having a food resource.”
The DNR also advises homeowners to lock any dumpsters because bears are clever and can open the lid. It also says people shouldn’t let their pets go outside alone after dusk because dog and bear interactions can be unpredictable.