NEW YORK, USA — The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is reminding New Yorkers to take additional precautions to reduce conflicts with bears.

The DEC is reminding New Yorkers that intentionally feeding bears is illegal. And they added that unintentionally feeding bears through carelessness has consequences for entire communities in the state.

Anyone who lives in or visits bear habitats are asked to remove items that attract bears. The DEC is advising New Yorkers take the following precautions to ensure safety for people, property, and bears. 

  1. Take down bird feeders by April 1
  2. Store garbage inside secure buildings
  3. Feed pets indoors 

The DEC says allowing bears to find food naturally keeps them out of trouble and reduces negative interactions with people and property.

“After a relatively mild winter, bears are emerging from their dens and have begun seeking out food sources,” said New York State DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Unfortunately, people sometimes make it easy for bears to find food near their homes. Fish and Wildlife staff at DEC have received reports of bears getting into garbage and pulling down bird feeders to eat the seed. It’s important that homeowners take measures to prevent bears from easily accessing these unnatural food sources.” 

For more information about how to reduce conflicts with bears, visit DEC's website.

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