New Mexico's Pet Resource FALL 2004


THE WILD SIDE

TIPS FOR LIVING WITH BEARS

1. DONíT FEED A BEAR Ė EVERÖÖÖ.A FED BEAR IS A DEAD BEAR!

2. Keep trash in a clean, closed container, stored in a sturdy metal shed, closed garage or bear-proof garbage can. If necessary, double bag garbage or hang a sock with mothballs on the shed/garage door. Put out garbage only on morning of pickup.

3. Donít feed pets outdoors or leave pet dishes or store pet food outdoors. Donít put pet dishes near back door or store pet food near door leading outside.

4. Hang seed feeders from wires between trees high enough off the ground that a bear canít reach it. Hang a seed tray underneath to catch excess seeds or stop feeding for several days until birds eat extra fallen seed. Bring in hummingbird feeders at night or hang from a high wire between trees. Feed suet and peanut butter only in winter when bears are in hibernation. Store birdseed in a closed container in a sturdy shed or the garage.

5. Keep barbeque grills stored indoors.

6. Keep kitchen windows and doors closed on summer nights. In drought years, keep kitchen clean and put all food away and out of sight of windows.

7. For small livestock and chickens, a shed or fence will not stop a hungry bear. You will need a very sturdy metal shed and/or a 5-strand electric fence using an approved fence charger with alternating current. Be sure to check with the county inspector for guidelines and/limitations. This is an inexpensive alternative to lost pets/livestock. Call SM BearWatch for electric fence instructions.

8. Be responsible. Put an electric fence around beehives. Call for instructions.

9. Donít plant fruit trees or berry bushes near your home. If you have older trees that produce fruit, you may have wild visitors at night. Be compassionate and know that this comes with living near or in the mountains. In drought years, to protect your trees, remove fruit before it ripens to stop damage to trees from bears climbing and breaking branches. Remove fruit from under trees/bushes or be compassionate and leave for our wild hungry bruins.

10. Donít add melon rinds or fruit to compost pile except in winter.

11. Donít leave food, groceries, pet food or birdseed in your car overnight. Bears have a keen sense of smell and will break into a car and do a lot of damage.

12. Donít feed other wildlife, a bear is an opportunistic feeder and will go wherever food is available.

13. If a bear is drinking from your swimming pool or hot tub, put water out as far from your house as possible. This will stop some expensive damage from happening.

14. Keep all poisons inside your house, many bears (including sows with cubs) died in 2001 from ingesting poisons from sheds. Also, many bears die from ingesting garbage bags. 15. Keep woodpiles and junk away from the house, rodents live in woodpiles and junked cars, etc. and bears eat rodents.

16. If you have followed all of the above suggestions and still have a bear problem, try to eliminate any food source or reason why a bear would be near your home. Call one of the numbers below for advice.

17. Please understand that a trapped bear does not transplant well. There are no pristine, unpopulated areas left in New Mexico to relocate these animals to. A very large percen- tage of deaths occur from being relocated.

PETroglyphs thanks Sandia Mountain BearWatch for this information. Call Jan Hayes for more advice on bears and other wildlife at 505-281-9282 or Jeff Davis at 505-286-6185.

I think I could turn and live with animals, theyíre so placid and self-contained, I stand and look at them long and long. - Walt Whitman ≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠


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