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Late Berry Crop Leads To Problem Bears

A late salmonberry crop means hungry black bears are a problem for many of Oregon's coastal communities. Salmonberries are typically ripe in May but the extended cool, wet spring on the Oregon coast slowed or disrupted that process. In many areas, the berries still have not ripened, and in some areas the pollination seems to have failed resulting in few berries available. Thimbleberries are behind schedule on the north coast although if forecasted clear weather occurs there may be hope for the upcoming huckleberry and blackberry crops.


Hungry bears, determined to eat are digging into residences' garbage, bird feeders, BBQ grills, pet food, chicken and livestock feed and in some instances, killing livestock. Bears attracted to humans for food can become a safety concern when they attempt to break into homes or approach people. ODFW wildlife biologists coastwide have their hands full with bear complaints. They say the best remedy is prevention and urge coastal residents to secure food, garbage, and recycling. Help keep bears wild by following these BearWise tips: • Never feed or approach bears • Secure food, garbage and recycling • Remove bird feeders when bears are active • Never leave pet food outdoors • Clean and store grills • Alert neighbors to bear activity


Use bearproof garbage cans if they are available from local waste management or keep garbage and recycling secure until collection day. Electric fencing is also an effective deterrent. A bear habituated to human foods and other attractants may become extremely aggressive defending those food sources and pose a threat to human safety. When prevention measures fail to deter these bears, they are humanely euthanized, and the meat donated to charities. Securing attractants around your property is vital to keeping Oregon's bears safe and where they belong—in the wild.


For more information on black bears and tips for living with them, check the ODFW website.




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