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Bear Safety Tips

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bear_photo_2013_033Bear Safety - When the Weather Warms Up, the Bears Return to the Foothills

The Monrovia Police Department would like to remind the public to act responsibly when in bear territory.  Spring is the time of year when California’s black bears emerge from their winter dens in search of food.  Because bears are attracted to anything edible or smelly, their search often leads them into residential neighborhoods, where trash and food is readily available.  Throughout spring and summer, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife receive many calls when bears break into homes and rummage through trash bins.  These bears are often labeled “nuisance” bears, but in reality they are just doing what comes naturally to them - foraging for food.

Tips for Bear-Proofing Your Home

Bears have keen noses and can smell an easy meal from miles away. They can easily tear a front door off its hinges if they smell food left out on the kitchen counter. To protect your family and property from bear break-ins, follow these simple tips:

  • 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.
  • Only provide bird feeders during November through March, and make them inaccessible to bears.
  • 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.
  • Consider installing motion-detector alarms, electric fencing, or motion-activated sprinklers.
  • Harvest fruit off trees as soon as it is ripe, and promptly collect fruit that falls.
  • Securely block access to potential hibernation sites such as crawl spaces under decks and buildings.