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Homeowners advised to bear-proof their property

Enforcement - Region 5

Thu May 09 15:12:00 MDT 2013

BILLINGS — A young black bear seen near Blue Creek School south of Billings early Thursday apparently was attracted to the area by food. While the two-year-old bear apparently moved through the area to graze on lush spring grass and dandelions, it stayed after finding some household garbage.

The bear moved away from the school after the garbage was cleaned up.

Bears throughout the region are very active at this time of year and can show up at homes that inadvertently provide them with food.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is advising homeowners to bear-proof their homes by removing anything that looks or smells like food. That includes leaving garbage and garbage cans inside until collection day, cleaning and storing barbecue grills, emptying birdfeeders, storing pet food and livestock feed supplements inside and regularly cleaning up under fruit trees.

Bears that find food around homes often return and become a nuisance or get into trouble with people. If they find no food, they will move along.

Black bears are ubiquitous in the region’s river corridors and wooded hills. Grizzly bears can be found throughout theBeartooth mountains and foothills. By cleaning and bear-proofing their property, homeowners can protect themselves and their property and help ensure that bears choose a natural diet that keeps them out of trouble.