Natural foods are limited at this time of year and bears may take the risk and wander into backyards in search of food. PHOTO COURTESY OF MDIFW

Hungry bears are searching for food

AUGUSTA Spring has sprung early this year and wildlife is wasting no time shedding winter’s grip to enjoy the nice spring weather. 

For many of these animals, such as black bears, they have lost a significant amount of body weight and are on the move looking for food after emerging from their winter dens.  

While denning, black bears enter a state of torpor, slowing their metabolism and respiration, breathing only once per 1545 seconds and dropping their heart rate to 8-21 beats per minute. Even with a lowered metabolic rate, bears still lose significant body fat. Bears don’t eat, drink, urinate or defecate during this time. 

Once spring comes and they emerge from their den, bears are working to regulate their bodily functions slowly for two to three weeks until normal activity ensues. At this time of year, natural foods are limited, and bears may take the risk and wander into backyards in search of easily accessible food. 

Take steps now to prevent black bears from coming to your yard: 

  • Rake up unused bird seed from the ground. 
  • Remove birdfeeders between April 1 and Nov. 1. 
  • Keep pet food and trash inside or in fenced areas. 
  • Clean grills thoroughly after use. 

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