Wildlife agents: Bears out of hibernation are hungry
State Fish and Wildlife Department bear and cougar specialist Rich Beausoleil said field staffers have already received reports of black bear activity in North Bend, Issaquah and Chelan County.
Since black bears can lose as much as half their body weight during hibernation, and natural foods are scarce now, he says the animals are specially motivated to find easy sources of high-protein food.
To avoid attracting bears to homes, Beausoleil recommended securing garbage cans, removing backyard bird seed and not leaving pet food outdoors.
Last year, state wildlife officials responded to 444 situations involving bears, ranging from raids on garbage cans and birdfeeders to confrontations with pets.
Two new state laws went into effect last summer that prohibit leaving food or food waste in places where it can attract bears and other wild carnivores.
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.