(l-r) A mother bear with three cubs in a Pine Mountain green belt near Rhine Court Monday, Aug. 25 and a capacity crowd turned out for the workshop about living with bears in our wild neighborhood. Tough love is the answer, Anne Bryant said.
By Katy Penland
Rudy strolled into the kitchen where Grandma was using an electric mixer at the counter, opened the freezer, removed a carton of chocolate chip ice cream and sat down on the floor to eat it. Grandma hadn’t heard him come in and didn’t know he was there
until she turned around. And froze.
It wasn’t her grandson but a young black bear that wandered in through an open door. Grandma couldn’t run and didn’t know how to scare Rudy off until someone else came into the kitchen and did it for her. Relieved, Grandma said that at least Rudy wasn’t as messy as her grandchildren when they ate ice cream.
Rudy’s story was told by Ann Bryant, executive director for the Bear League of Lake Tahoe, who was invited by Los Padres Bear Aware to share her knowledge of black bears with a standing room only crowd of more than 100 on Sunday, Aug. 24 in Pine Mountain Club’s Condor Room.
Bryant’s talk was punctuated by amusing anecdotes of black bear behaviors, but her take-home message was deadly serious: “No food, and be mean!”
If we keep our homes, yards, decks, and cars free of “bear food” (garbage, pet food, birdseed, etc.), and discourage bears from approaching by yelling, throwing things (“not your backpack with what’s left of your lunch in it”), and even using paintball guns (with special “bear balls”), we’ll be free of nuisance bears. If we don’t, bears could die and we will have killed them.
Great tip: Pine Sol. Open containers of regular (not orange or lemon) Pine Sol under your house and decks will deter bears from using them as dens as they don’t like its smell. It’ll keep them out of your car, too, as it masks the scent of the Chapstick in the console or that three-year-old French fry wedged under the back seat.
A capacity crowd turned out for the workshop about living with bears in our wild neighborhood. Tough love is the answer, Anne Bryant said.
This is part of the August 29, 2008 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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