DEC offers tips for avoiding bears

In response to an expanding bear population, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has released some tips on how to avoid dangerous encounters with bears.

Topping the DEC's list is not feeding bears, either intentionally or by accident. According to DEC Region 5 spokesman David Winchell, intentionally feeding bears changes their natural foraging behavior.

Bears that are fed by humans can come to associate the presence of people with food, potentially leading to dangerous situations.

Winchell said this creates "nuisance bears" that are difficult to control.

"It often results in DEC having to kill the bear, echoing the adage 'a fed bear is a dead bear,'" he said.

Other tips for avoiding run-ins with bears include using bear resistant canisters when camping out and properly disposing of garbage, and cleaning up immediately after meals.

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