FORSYTH, Mont.—Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologists and game wardens are seeing an increase in black bear activity in southeast Montana and sightings have become more frequent. Two different bears have been spotted in the town of Forsyth. “This latest bear hasn’t posed any kind of threat to people, livestock or property. Each time he’s been spotted, he turns and runs, showing fear of people. Everybody can help us manage this increase in bear activity by making small changes to your property, such as putting away the dog food, keeping your trash lids on, etc, in order to make your place look unappealing to the bear. This goes for whether you live in or out of town”, said local game warden, Matt Hagedorn.
FWP urges people who live in areas frequented by bears to inventory their properties and make them unattractive to bears. Bears that find nothing to eat are likely to move elsewhere. Those that find food are likely to return and cause problems, a situation that often is fatal to the bear. To keep from attracting bears, people should:
· Keep all garbage indoors or in a bear proof container.
· Thoroughly clean barbecue grills and move them indoors when they are not in use.
· Take down songbird feeders.
· Store horse and pet food in a secure shed. Never leave pet food out overnight.
· Pick up and dispose of rotting fruit or vegetables left from last year’s trees and gardens.
(Report by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks; Cover photo: flickr.com)