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** Archived Article - please check for current information. **

April 6, 2016Dealing with black bears: Sensible guidelines offered by DNR

Biologists with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources are reporting increased black bear activity throughout the state, and they urge people to use common sense when encountering these fascinating animals.

The warm weather has black bears on the move, and with few berries yet ripe, they are hungry and looking for food. While people may be excited about seeing a bear, biologists urge them to remember that bears are wild animals and should be respected. Black bears are usually shy, evasive and non-aggressive toward people. Neither a human fatality nor even an attack have been attributed to a black bear in South Carolina.

Bears have been sighted throughout South Carolina. If you see a bear and would like to report a sighting, please use the web-based reporting form, developed by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR): www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/bear/sightingform.html. Sightings are recorded and used to aid in black bear management.

The mere presence of a black bear does not necessarily represent a problem. Most bears are just passing through, but if there is an easy meal to be found, they will take advantage of it. The key to dealing with wandering bears is not giving them a reason to hang around. Removing any food source that would attract bears will greatly reduce any bear issues in residential areas.

DNR offers these common-sense suggestions to better cope with bears:

For more about black bears in South Carolina, including "A Homeowner's Guide: Living with Bears," visit www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/species/bear.html.


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