Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management

235 Promenade Street | Providence, RI 02908 | 401.222.4700 | www.dem.ri.gov | @RhodeIslandDEM

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                          CONTACT: Gail Mastrati, DEM – 401-255-6144

Wednesday, March 31, 2021                                                   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

                                                                                                                 

DEM REMINDS RESIDENTS TO REMOVE BACKYARD

FOOD SOURCES THAT ATTRACT BLACK BEARS

 

PROVIDENCE – The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is reminding Rhode Islanders to remove potential food sources from their properties as black bears emerge from hibernation.

 

 

Black bears are generally shy and will avoid interactions with humans. Until their natural food sources become more available in the spring, black bears may visit bird feeders, beehives, chicken coops, rabbit hutches, and compost piles in search of food. Bears can become dependent on readily available backyard food sources and quickly become a nuisance. Black bears have an excellent sense of smell and will investigate odors they identify as an easy meal – and will regularly frequent a site once a food source is identified.

 

DEM reminds the public to become “bear aware” by:

 

·         Removing bird feeders by early April and waiting until early November to put them back up.  

·         Refraining from feeding pets outside, or if you do, taking pet food dishes inside at night.

·         Storing birdseed, livestock feed, and garbage in buildings. 

·         Taking garbage out for pickup on the morning of collection – not the night before.

·         Keeping barbecue grills clean of grease. Do not put meat or sweet food scraps in your compost pile.

·         Using electric fencing around chicken coops, beehives, rabbit hutches, and livestock pens.

·         Moving livestock into barns at night.

·         Above all, DO NOT FEED BEARS. These are wild animals. An adult male typically weighs between 150 and 450 pounds, while females generally weigh between 100 and 250 pounds.

 

If a black bear is spotted on private property, people are advised to:

 

·         Report the sighting to DEM’s Division of Law Enforcement at 222-3070. DEM is working closely with local police to track bear sightings and complaints and educate people on how to safely coexist with bears.

·         Do not panic. Bears are rarely aggressive toward people and will often leave on their own. After the bear leaves the area, food sources or any other item of attraction should be removed from the yard.

·         Do not run away if you surprise a bear. Walk away slowly while facing the bear. In Rhode Island, black bears are protected animals. Intentionally feeding or shooting a bear is illegal. 

 

The following steps will minimize the potential for bears to attack livestock or apiaries:

 

  • Use electric fencing around pens or paddocks to protect sheep and goats and other small livestock.
  • Move small livestock into barns at night.
  • Secure grains and sweet feeds in buildings.
  • Use electric fencing to protect apiaries and chicken coops.

           

For more bear facts, visit DEM’s website. For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM or on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) for timely updates.

 

-30-

 

 

Follow us on social media!

President Biden says Congress has to step up and act on gun control. While speaking at the White House today, Biden said the gun epidemic "has to end now." He lamented that it seems like there is a mass shooting every day.        Attorney General Merrick Garland is rescinding limits on consent decrees the Trump administration put in place to keep the Department of Justice from seeking reforms on police departments. Garland's order returns the D-O-J to the policies in place before then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions imposed restrictions. The consent decrees are court-ordered agreements used to resolve violations of law, or systemic misconduct by state or local law enforcement.        The Ann Arbor Police Chief is giving an update on the Briarwood Mall shooting in Michigan. Chief Michael Cox says the victim suffered gunshot wounds in his "arm area" and the injuries are non-life-threatening. Police don't know how many suspects there are as they continue to secure the mall.        Vaccine hesitancy by staff is a major concern at Pennsylvania's nursing homes. The State Department of Health says only 52-percent of staff has opted to get immunized for COVID-19. On the other hand, 80-percent of Pennsylvania's nursing home patients have been vaccinated.       Liberty University is suing its former president Jerry Falwell Junior for ten-million dollars. The suit alleges that Falwell withheld scandalous and potentially damaging information from Liberty's board of trustees. Falwell apparently "led a scheme to cover up the illicit conduct" that damaged the Christian university and its reputation.        Actress Helen McCrory is dead at 52. McCrory is best known for her roles as Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter film series and as Aunt Polly in the television series Peaky Blinders. Her husband, actor Damian Lewis, broke the news on his Twitter page.