Nevada County bear encounter sparks plea for awareness
August 22, 2014
Banner Mountain resident Andy Wright received a personal visit from a bear Sunday — and took some amazing photographs, which are posted on his blog at http://lighthawkphoto.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/barefoot-bear-observations/.
“This guy was in our backyard this morning, cruising the fruit trees,” Wright wrote. “I was in our bedroom, just out of the shower when I saw this large black shape moving past the grape arbor. It was instant recognition.
“I instantly ran to grab my camera (7D+400mm) and started shooting shots through the back screen door,” Wright continued. “With each burst of shots he looked my way.
The bear was scenting the breeze with nose aloft. ‘Tomatoes, with just a hint of ripening grapes.’”
After photographing the bear in his orchard, Wright said, his visitor eventually left.
“He’s welcome back, but I hope he won’t pull down my fences, and be content with gleaning the fruit from the apples, nectarines and plums out back,” he wrote.
According to Wright, the Banner Mountain road association has had several bear sightings this summer, and one since his visit on Sunday.
“I’ve emailed the neighbors to alert them of our visitor,” Wright wrote.
“I suggested they keep their pet food inside, and trash put away. We don’t want our neighbor bear to get on the wrong side of the law!”
California has one species of bear — the black bear. With more than 30,000 bears in California, during the summer months the state Department of Fish and Wildlife offices receive many calls about bears rummaging through trash bins, raiding campsites or making their way into residential areas.
The department recommends:
— Purchase and properly use a bear-proof garbage container.
— Wait to put trash out until the morning of collection day.
— Don’t leave trash, groceries, or animal feed in your car.
— Keep garbage cans clean and deodorize them with bleach or ammonia.
— Keep barbecue grills clean and stored in a garage or shed when not in use.
— Don’t leave any scented products outside, even nonfood items such as suntan lotion, insect repellent, soap or candles.
— Keep doors and windows closed and locked.
— Harvest fruit off trees as soon as it is ripe, and promptly collect fruit that falls.
For more information, visit: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/keepmewild/bear.html.