Bear necessities: 'A fed bear is a dead bear'

Bears have been accessing trash cans and bird feeders in Seal Rock, Oregon. (ODFW photo)

SEAL ROCK, Ore. — As many as 8 bears have turned garbage cans and bird feeders in the Seal Rock area into a buffet, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said.

“If you care about bears, don’t feed them and ask your neighbors not to, either,” said Jason Kirchner, ODFW district wildlife biologist. “Remember: a fed bear is a dead bear, as fed bears can become nuisance bears that have to be put down for public safety.”

ODFW recommends homeowners:

  • Remove all food attractants. Don't leave food unattended. Bears are creatures of habit and will return to spots where they have previously found food.
  • Do not feed the birds and take down all feeders, including hummingbird feeders, and sweep up any seed on the ground. In areas where bears are a problem, ODFW recommends not feeding birds.
  • Keep all garbage inside your house or closed garage, and only place it outside just before garbage pick-up.
  • Use bear-resistant garbage cans.
  • If bears have previously ransacked garbage cans, clean cans with hot water and bleach or ammonia to remove odors.
  • Double bag all garbage. Use of ammonia-soaked rags in and around the cans may repel bears.
  • Keep all pet food and livestock feed inside the house or garage.
  • Clean up barbecue grills and store them inside.
  • Consider three strands of low-cost electric fencing as an easy way to deter bears from fruit trees, compost piles, beehives and garbage cans.

Learn more about Oregon's black bears

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