Most people think of bears in terms of cute, cuddly, stuffed creatures like Winnie the Pooh bear from the popular children’s series of the same name. However, real black bears and grizzly bears are a much different sort. They have claws, and teeth, and can get very big. No person wants to encounter one of these bears in the woods. Most encounters in the woods end without any harm done. These bears eat a primarily vegetarian diet of berries and roots. The record high temperatures this summer have wreaked havoc with the bears’ natural diet, causing many to start looking for food closer to human habitats.
The high temperatures are causing berries to shrivel on the vines, and keeping the bear’s preferred plant based sources of food from growing well. Being intelligent creatures, these animals have started looking elsewhere for tasty treats. People living in towns close to bear habitats have reported seeing bears wandering down streets and rummaging through garbage. They’ve even started reporting more break ins from bears breaking into people’s homes in middle class and upscale neighborhoods, like glen cove real estate properties, and local businesses.
At the beginning of August, a bear in Upstate New York tried to claw its way into a candy store through the exterior wall. Determined as the bear was, he didn’t quite make it into the building. However, another bear in Colorado did succeed in his attempts to break into a local candy store … seven times. This bear broke open the front door of the storefront and squeezed in, swiping a chocolate candy bar and quickly heading back out. The bear did this repeatedly before he decided he had enough and moving on. As funny as these incidents are on the surface, hungry bears are becoming dangerous for people.
Several have reported bears breaking into their homes while they are home. Another problem is bears entering campgrounds to go after easy food in the cars and coolers of campers. These bears will walk into the middle of a campsite without concern for the people present. They may even break into their vehicles. Over the summer, a hungry bear got into a minivan looking for food and managed to get himself locked inside the vehicle. The bear panicked while trying to escape, and tore apart the car’s interior. Officials have gone so far as to close campgrounds in Eastern Kentucky because of bears.
When out and about this summer, be aware of the bears. They are normally shy and stay away from humans, but hunger has forced them out of the wilds. If you see a bear leave the area and report it to local authorities.
About the author: When not writing on green and renewable topics, Chris is a college admissions advisor