CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – Wildlife visitors are coming out of hibernation, and passing through Happy Valley in search of some food.
According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission Black Bear sightings aren’t unusual here in bear country.
“Residential areas often contain a wide variety of foods that bears are attracted to,” said State Game Warden, Dan Murray.
He says, the number one culprit for a bear ending up in your backyard? Bird feeders.
“What we recommend is if you have a bear visit, tear down your bird feeder to at least remove those feeders for a couple weeks and stop that source of enticement. The bear will probably return, learn that enticement’s not there and hopefully move on,” said Murray.
Another food source that Murray says bears like to get their paws on is garbage cans.
“And it’s sometimes not easy to secure trash but what we recommend is storing garbage in cans in a garage or a shed until the morning of pickup. And that might require us getting up a couple minutes sooner to get it out to the curb, but in the long run it does pay off,” said Murray.
Murray reminds that it is illegal to feed bears.
As for safety Murray says Black Bears are normally afraid of humans, and that if you see one, you’re not usually in any immediate danger.
“The main thing to do is just stay calm. If you don’t like it where it’s at like say it’s in your yard you could harass the bear. You could shoo it away you could make loud noise, yell at it. Let it know hey I’m here, and I don’t like you here,” said Murray.