Black Bear Basics: Preventing Problems

Above: Photo taken of a bear in a tree in the town of Fawnskin, California. See more bear pictures here.

Locals have nicknamed one of the bears that has moved into town to dine on the garbage left out for pick up on Wednesday night, “Yogi.” One email said he was on his way to a “picca nicca”–aka trash digging.

But the problem is that some people might really think the local bears are Yogi Bear or Boo Boo–wrong–they are wild animals.

Since the wildfires last summer, the sightings of wildlife has increased significantly. Not only did one of my neighbors see a cougar jump off her roof but another a few miles down the road glimpsed “the beast of Big Bear” ambling down her road during the late morning hours.

Up the road, the bear garbage gourmet has learned how to pop off the locking lids of “bear proof” trash cans.

Although people might like the wildllife viewing, for the welfare of the furry freeloader it is best to always follow the following tips if you live in or near bear country:

  • Rinse food cans and wrappers before disposal. Keep garbage cans clean and deodorize them periodically.
  • Don’t leave trash, groceries or animal feed in your car.
  • Place trash cans at the curb on collection day rather than the night before. If trash must be kept outside, invest in a bear-proof garbage cage or keep inside your garage or shed.
  • Harvest fruit off trees as soon as it is ripe, and promptly collect fruit that falls.
  • Only provide bird feeders outside during the coldest months of the year—generally November through March—and always hang feeders so they are inaccessible to bears.
  • Plant your garden in the open, away from cover.
  • Don’t keep an open compost pile, especially one in which household leftovers are dumped. Burying compost is also not advisable, as bears will easily dig it up if motivated by enticing odors.
  • Keep barbecue grills that are on decks or close to the house clean. If possible, move the grill well away from the house when not in use.
  • Don’t feed pets outdoors and remove their water when you bring them in.
  • Block access to potential sleeping sites such as crawl spaces under decks and buildings.
  • Don’t leave any scented products outside. Non-food items such as suntan lotion, insect repellent, soap, and candles can serve as attractants

For additional tips for living with bears visit the Wind River Bear Dog website, or download and print the Living with California Black Bears brochure (PDF).

You can also read what the Arizona Department of Fish & Game black bear page has to say. The Lake Tahoe Council for Wild Bears helps those who have encountered bears in that area of California and you can read about the black bear challenges Ann Bryant and her volunteers face.

If more people followed the above common sense tips it would help reduce the chance of having these animals being called in as nuisance critters…and might even save their lives.

Karen Pryor Interview & White Tigers

Wow, today is a low energy day. I think I need a day off.

I’ve been slaving seven days a week and that is not serving me well. There are things I can outsource but many that I cannot…anyway, bear that in mind as I ramble.

First, let me just say that the interview with Karen Pryor went well.

Now, when I conduct classes on the phone things usually go well but when it matters–just what imp creates trouble?

The imp appears and causes trouble regularly and I changed from two services (including a fee based service) because that was just unacceptable.

Now I tested the new service and it seemed fine but when it really mattered I couldn’t get into the phone line until after I emailed support.

Then Karen Pryor could not access the line via the speaker passcode.

Finally, we got going and things looked fine–and then there was no recording!


Anyway, I was able to mute listeners (to avoid background static and noise) and have Karen Pryor chat from that line.


AND thank goodness for technological wonders because last night I was able to retrieve the recording.

Great, but more work for me since now I’ll be working on an article.

Those subscribers who were able to make the call got the inside scoop on the Karen Pryor Academy.

For those who missed it, I will have it available to the animal career secrets students shortly.

Animal News: White & Black Striped Animals

In other news, did you hear about the injured zebra who the cops named Evidence? Poor critter.

There are specific ways to transport animals safely and I don’t know what the story is behind this yet but an animal sanctuary is taking care of the young zebra.

Now that I am on the topic of white and black striped animals…I’ve talked about inbreeding and the problems with captive tigers and other issues surrounding them before and periodically mention the white tiger issue.

However, Big Cat Rescue is now tackling the myth concerning endangered white tigers. I first read about the white tigers back in the 1970s.

Today you can read the white tiger history here. In the USA the craze began at the National Zoo after they were given Mohini, an inbred white tiger, as a gift and that seems to be the beginning of white tiger fever.

Somewhere I have a picture of her snarling at the camera from her early days.

Many groups promote these creatures as “endangered” and “rare” instead of the spoke in the wheel of a marketing scheme.

Siegfried & Roy furthered the conservation myth regarding white tigers and perpetuated the illusion that exotic animals make good pets (until Roy took a hit).

The truth is that wild animals don’t make good pets and here is my position on wild animal pets and exotic animal pets.

There are ways to save the tiger but saving the white tiger is not one of those.