Fall has come, do we know what this means? Our bears are stocking up on food in the form of fat to get ready for the cooler weather which means the ones out in the wild are too! Be on the lookout for any bear signs to avoid any bear attacks while out hiking this fall. While they are stocking up for the winter, bears can end up getting a little more aggressive because their food source is disappearing and competition is high. Bears end up getting comfortable around humans, causing them to get curious. This is like Bam-Bam who strives for attention. This is more than likely cause he is so used to humans. Attacks usually happen when a bear has been eating on garbage, being hand-fed, or approached by a human and/or pet.
If you’re going hiking this fall, get to know your bear country. It’s best to do research on where you’re going and find out if bears live in that area. While hiking, watch for suitable bear habitat: thick brush, heavy tree stands, large swaths of flowering plants, and plants that have fruit and nuts. Hike in groups of three or more and make noises, whether that’s talking, whistling, or singing. With more people in your group, the bear will see, hear, and smell you better. Avoid hiking at dawn, dusk, or night; this is when bears are most active. We do not recommend hiking with your pet. Pets can end up antagonizing bears, and attacks are more likely to happen. If you see a bear, stay 100 yards away from it or further. If you see a bear while in your vehicle, stay in your vehicle and lock the doors.
At the moment we are feeding our bears twice a day in preparation for hibernation. In the morning they will get their produce and fun food. Produce that these guys love to eat is sweet potatoes, apples, bananas, oranges, persimmons, blueberries, pumpkins, corn, coconuts, & grapes! We love scattering their produce throughout their habitats in order for them to “forage” for their own food! This helps imitate that wild behavior that they will do while finding their own food. Other fun items they eat in the mornings include popcorn, syrup, yogurt, applesauce, oats, peanut butter, honey, bread, dog food, cottage cheese, acorns, and walnuts. In the evenings they get fed their protein! For protein, they eat mostly eggs and chicken. Our bears are a little odd cause they really don’t care for fish, especially Bam-Bam, our grizzly bear, who will stick his nose up at fish.
Please be cautious while out this fall. Bears are just trying to get enough food before it is time to hibernate. When a bear attacks someone or visits populated areas often in search of food, they will likely be hunted and killed. They start relying on people for their own survival. It is essential for bears to stay wild and not get comfortable with humans.