It’s way too early for black bears to be searching for food and water in lower-elevation locales like Three Rivers but in this recurring drought, some bears are staying in the foothills region year-round.
At least two bears have been reported this week to be making the rounds in Three Rivers. Another was spotted in Elderwood.
A fed bear is a dead bear— It’s difficult not to feel compassion, especially for the malnourished critters. But don’t under any circumstance feed a bear; it’s illegal and leads to conditioning a bear to a point where it will have to pay for human mistakes with its life.
If a bear becomes spooked by a dog or a vociferous property owner, it will often climb a tree. Notify the state Department of Fish and Wildlife of the incident but they report they probably won’t respond unless the bear becomes a problem or exhibits aggressive behavior.
The best course of action is to put the dog indoors, remove food sources, and give the bear the space to leave. Three Rivers residents have the responsibility to bear-proof their trash cans, keep pet food and all food sources indoors, ensure that garage freezers and outdoor food storage are fortified, and secure bird coops.
Last year in Three Rivers at least four bears were shot because they were lured to the respective properties by domestic caged birds.
For the California Department Fish and Wildlife regional dispatch center, call (951) 443-2944; for the Regional Office, call (559) 243-4005.
Need help in securing your trash can? It can be done for the mere cost of materials. Information: bearproof3R@gmail.com.