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Public Health

Posted on: May 17, 2021

Be bear aware: How to prevent negative interactions with bears

Black Back Prevention

REMOVE ALL FOOD SOURCES FROM YOUR YARD AND NEIGHBORHOOD 

  • NEVER intentionally feed bears 
  • DO NOT feed birds – All birdfeeders, suet, and spilled seed attract bears 
  • NEVER leave trash bags out - store in a secure building or container and put trash out the morning of pickup 
  • DO NOT feed pets outside 
  • • DO NOT use open compost 
  • CLEAN barbeque grills and grease traps 
  • KEEP BEARS WILD – feeding can cause bears to lose their fear of people which can result in the bear being euthanized

IF YOU SEE A BEAR IN YOUR YARD 

  • HARASS the bear - bang pots and pans, blow a whistle or an air horn
  • CHECK for and REMOVE food sources

IF YOU ENCOUNTER A BEAR

  • Talk to the bear in a calm voice 
  • Back away – DO NOT run 
  • FIGHT BACK if a black bear makes contact with you

DOG OWNERS 

  • KEEP dogs leashed 
  • Check your yard for bears before letting your dog out 
  • DO NOT let dogs chase or interact with bears 
  • If you encounter a bear while with your dog, back away and leave the area 
  • The presence of a dog could trigger a bear to be aggressive  

Learn more at Mass.gov/Bears. For questions or to report a bear encounter contact MassWildlife at 508-389-6300. Contact the Massachusetts Environmental Police outside normal business hours and on weekends at: 1-800-632-8075


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