After a recent rise in the number of reported bear sightings in Ramapo neighborhoods, the town's supervisor is advising residents to take precautions.
"My office has received multiple calls from residents who are rightfully concerned about recent bear sightings," said Supervisor Michael Specht.
In an effort to help, Specht offered some tips to help deter bears from entering local properties courtesy of the state Department of Conservation.
According to the Department of Conservation, not all bears are good housekeeping is the simplest way to avoid attracting bears.
Their tips include:
- Remove bird feeders after April 1. New York's black bears begin emerging from their winter dens in mid to late March. Birdfeed such as suet and seeds are a very strong attraction for bears, even if they can't reach them.
- Garbage is extremely attractive to bears. It should always be kept in sealed garbage cans inside a sturdy building like a garage or shed. Anything with an odor can attract a bear.
If you frequently find bears foraging in your garbage cans, despite proper storage, consider using a bear-resistant trash container and mask garbage odors with ammonia-soaked rags.
If you have curbside garbage pickup- take out trash just before your scheduled pickup. Do not put garbage at the curb the night before.
Other tips include:
- Do not place meat or bones in compost piles.
- Remove the grease can from grills after every use. Turn the grill on "High" for several minutes after you are done cooking to burn residual odors off the grill.
- Do not place food outside to attract wildlife. Any food items used to attract birds, squirrels, or other wildlife will also attract bears.
- Do not feed pets outside. Leftover food or even an empty dish can attract a bear.
- Do not operate refrigerators or freezers outside or on porches. Bears can smell what is inside.
In addition, electric fencing is an effective tool for keeping bears out of apiaries, chicken coops, compost, and gardens.
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