The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is urging people to
take down their bird feeders to avoid attracting bears that are
emerging from their winter dens and looking for food.
"It is best to remove food sources before hungry bears locate
them," said Fish & Wildlife's Col. David LeCours. "We highly
recommend taking down bird feeders and not feeding birds until
"Also, don't leave pet food outside, wash down your barbecues
after using them, and secure your garbage containers," he
"And above all, never purposely leave food out for bears.
Feeding bears may seem kind, but it is almost a sure death sentence
"Help keep bears wild," said LeCours. "We care about
these bears as much as anyone. Having to destroy one that has
become a threat to human safety is not a pleasant experience, and
we know that moving them to another location doesn't change their
behavior. They continue to seek food near people because they
have learned that it works."
Vermont law prohibits a person from killing a bear that has been
attracted to any artificial bait or food such as bird
seed. The fine for doing so can be as high as $1,000.
Bears often eat seeds in the wild, so a birdfeeder chock full of
high-energy seed is a concentrated source of what a bear considers
natural food. And they are smart. Once bears learn to
obtain food around people's homes, they will be back for more.
learn about black bears, go to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife
Department's website www.vtfishandwildlife.com and look in the
Library section for the Black Bear factsheet.