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Be Bear Aware

Sacramento, CA — A recent jump in residential bear sightings across the state has wildlife officials warning the public to be bear aware. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) say over the last few months, several bears have been sighted in and near residential areas, including areas where they have not been seen for many decades. They say a healthy population and a dry winter may be attracting bears to urban areas.

Biologist with the CDFW Tim Kroeker says, “We had a dry year last year and now we’ve got another one. The winter was mild and the males didn’t need to spend a lot of time in hibernation. That creates bear activities and they have to search harder for food when things aren’t lush.”

CDFW Officials say with more than 30,000 bears in California, they do get a lot of calls about bears rummaging through trash bins, raiding campsites or wandering residential areas.

Below are CDFW’s tips for businesses, campers and homeowners:

• Purchase and properly use a bear-proof garbage container.
• Wait to put trash out until the morning of collection day.
• Don’t leave trash, groceries, or animal feed in your car.
• Keep garbage cans clean and deodorize them with bleach or ammonia.
• Keep barbecue grills clean and stored in a garage or shed when not in use.
• Don’t leave any scented products outside, even non-food items such as suntan lotion, insect  repellent, soap or candles.
• Keep doors and windows closed and locked.
• Harvest fruit off trees as soon as it is ripe, and promptly collect fruit that falls.

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