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Warm Weather Luring Bears Out of Hibernation

Courtesy N.H. Fish and Game


Low snow cover, warm spells this winter, and a mast crop of berries and acorns in the fall have more bears coming out of hibernation, particularly in the southeastern corner of the state.

Dan Bailey, a wildlife biologist with New Hampshire Fish and Game, says they are seeing more winter bear activity this year than usual, with regular sightings in people’s backyards.

“Bears are smart, so they will start coming back to these areas,” Bailey warns. “At first it may just be bird feeders - but then when they're not finding food in bird feeders, they're going to go after trash, they're going to go after chicken coops in the backyard.”

Bailey recommends that residents who hear of nearby bear sightings remove their bird feeders, and secure trash and dog and cat food.


Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.
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