Monday, May 11th 2020, 12:42 pm - Here are some bear safety tips.
Officials say black bears are coming out of hibernation, and they're hungry.
Case in point: The black bear in the video above, which recently broke into a cabin in Tennessee. Police were eventually able to get the bear -- and its three bear friends who were waiting outside -- away from the property, but not before the animals took nearly 10 pounds of candy, chips, and beer.
BLACK BEARS ARE HUNGRY THIS TIME OF YEAR
Black bears are waking up from hibernation and they're hungry this time of year.
Officials say it's unusual for a black bear to break into a cottage or home and that black bear attacks are rare -- but they still can, and do, happen.
Here are some bear safety tips.
WATCH BELOW: WHAT TO DO IF YOU ENCOUNTER A BEAR
HOW TO AVOID A BEAR ENCOUNTER
- If you're heading out for a walk or hike, make sure someone knows your plans. Before your trip, leave names, trip plans, and date of return with friends or family.
- Carry bear spray and a noisemaker. Before leaving home read the instructions. Carry the bear spray in a belt holster or somewhere where you can access it immediately. Do not carry the bear spray inside your backpack.
- Go with your family, if you are socially distancing together. Bears are less likely to approach people in groups. Check each other's position often and remember that the larger the group, the less likely a bear will hang around.
- Keep young children close to you. Children can be particularly at risk because they are small and make erratic movements.
- If you hike with a dog, keep it on a leash. Your dog should be leashed and under control at all times. An unleashed dog can lead an irritated bear back to you and your friends.
- Make noise. Talk loudly, sing, or let out occasional warning shouts. This will alert bears to your approach so you are less likely to cause a surprise encounter. Remember that other sounds, such as flowing rivers and streams and strong winds, can drown out the noise you make. Be extra noisy at these times.
- Be alert when in wildlife travel corridors. Rivers and streams, trails, and access routes, are common travel corridors for wildlife, including bears. Be cautious when you are in these areas.
- Avoid areas with typical bear food sources. These include berry patches, grain fields, garbage pits, beehives and anywhere you can see an animal carcass.
- Watch for fresh bear signs. If the signs look like they were made recently, quickly and calmly leave the area. Signs of bear activity include diggings, droppings, fresh carcasses, tracks, overturned rocks, scratched logs, and torn-up ant hills.
- Watch for crows, ravens, magpies or jays. These birds often indicate the presence of an animal carcass that may also attract a bear.
- Avoid being out at dusk, night or dawn. Although bear encounters can happen at any time of day, bears are most active at dusk, night and dawn.