Hopeful Henry: Bear-proof property
September 2, 2014
I'm new to Tahoe and a bear just moved into the basement of our house. What do I do?
Scared of the bear
Dear Sacred of the bear,
First welcome to the lake! and second don't be scared of the bear.
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Our bears (black and brown) need not be feared, but they do need our respect. Bears might be cute and when you see them it is very exciting. Give them space and make sure they stay wild. Bears don't like to be watched and they like their peace. If they know you are watching they will often move away from you. If you run into a bear in your yard, do not run. Be aggressive and alert your dominance by standing tall and making noise like banging pots and pans together and shouting loudly works well when it comes to making the bear run away.
Never get between a mother bear and her cubs. If you see a bear with cubs, slowly walk away and make a loud noise. If a bear attempts to get away, do not block its escape route. Bears will often climb trees if frightened and usually won't come down until humans and dogs are gone.
You need to bear-proof your property. Simple things can help keep your property bear-free. Garbage is a big problem, when it come to attracting bears. Purchase a "Bear Box" for garbage, this is a garbage container that is bear-proof. They can be costly so think of sharing one with a neighbor. If you cannot get a bear box, then keep all garbage inside your garage in cans with lids securely attached also keep those garbage cans clean and deodorize with bleach or ammonia (bears hate the smell of ammonia). You can buy garbage cans from local hardware stores that have bear-proof tops. Wait to put trash out until collection day. Don't leave trash or any food items in your car. Harvest fruit off trees as soon as it is ripe and pick up all fallen fruit as soon as it falls. Do not hang bird feeders from March-November, bears love them. Keep barbecue grills clean. Keep your pets inside. Securely block access to hibernation areas like crawl spaces under decks and buildings. Don't leave any scented non-food products outside such as suntan lotion, insect repellent, soap or candles. Keep doors and windows closed and locked. Scents from inside lure bears. And lastly, do not feed the bears. Just so you know the bears diet consists of berries, plants, nuts, roots, honey, honeycomb, insects, larvae, carrion and small mammals.
That all being said, back to addressing your immediate issue, the bear currently residing in your basement. I recommend you call the Bear Preservation League (The Bear League). Call the 24-hour hotline number at 530-525-7297 and they will be able to give you recommendation for how to remove the bear and some referrals for companies that can seal up the entrance the bear has made into your basement.
Hoping this was Helpful,
Submit questions or letters via email to AskHenry@LakeTahoeHumaneSociety.org or by mail to P.O. Box PET South Lake Tahoe CA 96158. The Lake Tahoe Humane Society and S.P.C.A. now has a Facebook page so stop by and check it out at http://www.FaceBook.com/LakeTahoeHumaneSocietySPCA. Become a Facebook friend of HopefulHenry at http://www.Facebook.com/Hopeful.Henry If you are missing a pet and would like us to post it on our FaceBook page please email a photo and description, including when and where lost to LostPets@LakeTahoeHumaneSociety.org.
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