Wednesday, September 22, 2021
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What is a problem bear?


A bear that, instead of avoiding contacts with humans, comes dangerously close to them, often becoming a threat to their life and property, is called a ‘problem’ bear. The reasons for such erratic behavior are related to unnatural feeding habits, typically as a result of illness, shortage of food in the wild, artificial feeding by humans, availability of garbage strewn around places of human habitation, or access to herds of domestic animals left unattended.

Any accessible food within a bear’s rage is welcome to an animal that has no idea of human rules and laws and could not care less. Therefore we should avoid raising livestock or bees within a brown bear’s territory, or we should do so only after taking all necessary precautions. Accusing a wild animal of human flaws – theft, criminal intent, or murder – is baseless and futile.

Feeding bear cubs, especially in the vicinity of human population centers, is also dangerous. They become easily accustomed to human presence and stop fearing and avoiding humans, associating their smell with an easy meal. In this way, we inadvertently create problem bears that will inevitably cause some damage before becoming victims themselves.


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The impact of landfills


Small municipalities and villages, especially in areas with higher density of the bear population, have no designated landfills secured with a perimeter fence, or the existing ones are little more than a makeshift garbage dump. Such a dump is likely to attract bears looking for an ‘easy meal’, prompting the animals to associate human scent with a pleasant – and belly-filling – experience. A bear conditioned to the eating of leftovers of human food can never be de-conditioned! This breeds the risk of bears coming into direct contacts with humans, with all the unwanted aggravations such encounters may entail.

Read more: The impact of landfills


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