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ADF&G says you can get in a lot of trouble if you are caught feeding bears

A lot according to Fish and Game
Photo: Tim Donovan / FWC
Photo: Tim Donovan / FWC(WCTV)
Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 7:26 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Responsible Alaskans don’t need the reminder but every year the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has to drive the point home, do not feed the bears. It’s dangerous for humans and animals, and humans can get in a lot of trouble for it.

Anchorage area assistant wildlife biologist Cory Stantorf explained that now is the time to remove any attractors from the yard. Pick up the dog food, lock up the trash, put the bird feeders away, clean the barbecue and remove anything else that may bring them around.

So far this year, Stantorf said they haven’t had any conflict calls but it’s still early in the season.

It’s important to clean those things up because once the bears lock into that food source, they are going to keep coming around according to Stantorf.

He said it’s a game of calories for them. In fact, Stantorf said that a bear can get up to three days of calories just from ransacking a single full bird feeder.

“So, it can either hit one birdhouse or bird feeder and get three days worth the food in 20 minutes. Why would a bear not choose that?” Stantorf said.

Cleaning up the things that could make your neighborhood more inviting to bears is important to keep both parties safe. However, Stantorf explained the consequences of feeding a bear.

Even if one feeds a bear on accident — by leaving attractors out — it results in a violation of negligent feeding of wildlife laws. That lands the offender a $300 fine with a $20 surcharge Stantorf said.

And yes, he said that they do have to deal with people who feed these apex predators on purpose. He said that’s even more dangerous and comes with more serious consequences of a misdemeanor offense and a mandatory court appearance.

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