Jul 28, 2014

Did You See the Bear Roaming Through Smyrna?

Tips to deter black bears looking for an easy meal near your home.

Did You See the Bear Roaming Through Smyrna?
By Patch Staff

Did you see the bear roaming about the streets of Smyrna on Wednesday?

Smyrna police received numerous calls about the large animal being spotted in the Jonquil City.

Black bears—omnivorous animals whose  diet consists of whatever is readily available at the time—can be found in the north Georgia mountains and along the Ocmulgee River drainage system, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Their numbers have increased to a "healthy" population of more than 5,000 in Georgia.

When homes are within their range, bears are naturally attracted to the smells associated with cooking and garbage disposal. 

"Most problems can be resolved through simple actions such as taking down bird feeders, taking in pet food, or storing garbage in an area unavailable to bears like a garage," according to the DNR. "Removing or making attractants unavailable to bears is a critical step in resolving bear/human conflicts. 

"It is equally important for people to be patient. It may take several days for the bear to learn that it is no longer going to be provided with a free meal. In most cases, the bear will simply move on when the food source is no longer present."

In her Patch blog, Lynn Dotson offers these tips to deter black bears looking for an easy meal:

1. Empty your bird feeders. Bears love bird food. 
2. Take any and all pet food inside. Bears love dog food.
3. Maybe hold off on grilling out if you've had sightings nearby. Bears love a good barbecue. 
4. Don't have your trashcan out any longer than necessary and try to rinse out your recyclables so that they don't smell like food. Bears love recyclables. (okay, maybe not, but I had a theme going)
Just be smart about it, and enjoy the pictures friends are posting.  

Other non-natural attractants include suet, compost piles, gardens, beehives and cornfields, according to the DNR.

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