Utah's Drought Conditions May Cause Bears To Become More Aggressive
By Ginny Reese
May 18, 2021
Anyone who wants to enjoy the outdoors needs to be a little more cautious this year.
According to wildlife experts, the low snow conditions and early warmer weather caused bears to come out of hibernation a bit earlier.
Bears typically eat root-like vegetation and plants. Drought conditions have wiped out 90 percent of the bears' diet, forcing them to look for other food sources. This could push the bears down into neighborhoods and other heavily-population areas.
Bears generally avoid humans, however that may be different this year.
Darren DeBloois, DWR game mammals coordinator, said:
"This lower food supply could lead to more bear conflicts this summer as bears look more broadly for food. We are already getting reports in some areas of the state where bears are getting into people’s garbage scavenging for food. Bears could be more aggressive this year than normal as they try to obtain food, so we really want people to be aware and do all they can to eliminate food sources and not draw a bear to their area."
To avoid bears when outdoors, the DWR suggests:
- bear-proofing food and supplies
- keeping cooking areas clean
- keeping campsites clean
- never feeding bears
- bear-proofing outdoor garbage cans
Photo: Getty Images