Bears are waking up from hibernation and they will be making their way back into residential areas because of lack of food in the wild and ease of getting it out of trash roll carts. Since garbage stored outside is the biggest attractant, storing garbage in a secure garage or shed until the morning of collection will virtually eliminate the chances of a bear visit*. If a bear does not find a food source, it will move on. Here are some safe practices for managing waste to minimize encounters with bears:
- County code requires trash to be set out for collection no earlier than 5 p.m. the day prior to collection, but to avoid attracting bears to your property, try to set out trash roll carts the morning of trash collection.
- Strong and smelly odors will attract bears, so try to reduce odors by keeping smelly items out of the trash until the morning of trash collection. Roll carts have to be placed out before 8 a.m.
- Keep your trash roll cart clean by bagging all trash.
- Request a grizzly bear tested, Bear Tough Cart, for a reduced fee of $77. Call the Eco Station at (505) 662-8163 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. (Locks must be unlatched for collection day)
- Hang bird feeders at least 10 feet above ground and away from buildings, including porches, and use a tray to catch spills. Discontinue using bird feeders if a bear is in the area.*
- Feed pets inside or remove uneaten pet food between feedings.*
- Clean barbecues and store in a secure area.*
- Keep your family, neighbors, pets, and property safe: store your garbage in your garage or shed until the morning of your collection*
- Remember, a fed bear is a dead bear. Do not feed the bears.
These are just a few safety tips to help minimize encounters with bears in residential areas. Please notify NM Department of Game and Fish immediately if you encounter a bear, or have any questions or concerns. They can be reached at (505) 328-2572, or call dispatch at (505) 827-9376.
REMEMBER, BEARS CAN’T CHANGE THEIR BEHAVIOR, ONLY HUMANS CAN.*
*Source Arizona Game and Fish Department