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DEC issues guidance to reduce bear conflicts in NY

The DEC says now is the best time to take preventative measures as bears start to emerge from their dens.
Credit: Lancaster Police Department

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Department of Environmental Conservation is reminding New Yorkers to take additional precautions this spring to reduce conflicts with bears.  

The DEC says now is the best time to take preventative measures as bears start to emerge from their dens. Some of the most common items that can lead to conflict include bird feeders, unsecured garbage, as well as outdoor pet and livestock feed.

"Unintentional feeding through bird feeders and unsecured garbage also has consequences for communities and may ultimately be deadly for the bear if the bear becomes a greater threat to people and property after exposure to these sources of food. It is important to properly manage attractants to avoid human-bear conflicts," the DEC said in a press release. 

The DEC went on to say that bears can become bolder when they have repeated access to bird feeders and garbage. They may start to seek other human-related foods inside buildings or vehicles.

New Yorkers are also being reminded that intentionally feeding bears is illegal.

The DEC is advising New Yorkers who live in bear country, or those who plan on visiting those areas, to take down bird feeders, clean up any remaining birdseed, store garbage containers, and pet and livestock feed securely indoors.

For more information, click here.

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