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October Bear Update

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avatar October Bear Update
October 15, 2018 11:16AM
In fall months, in preparation for hibernation, bears eat up to 20,000 calories every day - that's like eating nine large cheese pizzas, about 35 medium bean and cheese burritos, or 93 Snickers bars every single day! In terms of a bear's natural diet, that's equal to over 11 pounds of acorns, or around 100 pounds of berries.

Bears looking for food, particularly this time of year, can be attracted to residential areas by many natural food sources (acorns, fruit, wasp nests) and if residents' food and/or attractants are not properly stored, they'll take advantage of that too. Bears exposed to human food, or just used to being in residential areas, can quickly become food conditioned (meaning they've learned to associate people or development with food), or habituated (meaning they lose their natural fear of people, often getting dangerously close to people or homes). Bears may even start entering homes for food...which can quickly become dangerous for residents and bears alike.

Residents and visitors alike need to be especially vigilant in keeping their food secure from bears this time of year. Please be aware that pet food, open windows or doors in unattended buildings, overflowing trash and recycling, kitchen compost heaps, bird feeders and any other food or attractants left out can lead bears to change their foraging habits and behaviors.

Keep vehicles clean of food and attractants (Yosemite had its first vehicle break-in in over a year last week). Your actions can directly keep bears wild and out of trouble!

Halloween Bear Reminder: Pumpkins are food. In recent years (including last year), bears in Yosemite have been attracted to neighborhoods in October, and have eaten pumpkins off of people's porches! Please help by keeping your pumpkins inside your home, or alternatively get fake reusable pumpkins to decorate the outside of your home this month. It is okay to put pumpkins out near your house on Oct. 31st for trick-or-treaters, but please do not leave out bowls of unattended candy. Remember to bring pumpkins inside or throw them away once the last trick-or-treaters have finished their rounds.
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