Texas
5:00 pm
Thu August 18, 2011

Texas Parks and Wildlife Issues Black Bear Warning

Leaving out cat food for the neighborhood cat? You might be feeding the neighborhood bear instead, according to a statement by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

“We’re getting a few reports of people seeing bears during daylight hours, and that’s unusual,” says Mike Krueger of Texas Parks and Wildlife. “It’s the associated water around homes and the food. The pet food, the smell of cooking; all those things could attract bears. ”

Bear sightings are still considered to be rare and occur mostly in Texas rural areas, according to the statement. They have been known to travel hundreds of miles in search of food and water during droughts.  The most recent bear encounter involved a 2-year-old black bear in Kerr County who was shot and killed while apparently looking for water.

Representatives of Texas Parks and Wildlife offer other alternatives for getting rid of black bears that regularly stumble on to properties. Pelting it with rocks (from a safe distance, obviously) and scaring it with an air horn are some suggestions. For people who encounter black bears face to face, baking away slowly, avoiding eye contact and making the appearance of being larger by raising your arms or a holding up a backpack is the way to go.

Since black bears are protected in Texas, the fine for killing one can be up to $10,000 in addition to possible jail time and the loss of all hunting privileges.