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Three Bears Killed After Food Was Left Outdoors

Three Bears Killed After Food Was Left Outdoors

In the state of Washington over the last two weeks three wild bears have been killed. They had learned to look for food near human dwellings because food had been left out by people. In one case, a homeowner shot and killed a female bear in his own driveway. The man had stored a five gallon bucket of molasses under his porch. Bears have excellent noses for food-finding, and the female got into the molasses. Wildlife officials captured the bear and relocated it. The man tried to clean up the molasses, but the bear found its way back to the house to look for more anyway. That’s when he shot it.

Who stores five gallons of molasses outdoors in a rural area where it’s known there are wild bears? It isn’t just human food or garbage that is the problem though. It’s also bird seed — really anything that a bear could consume. Especially in the spring season, when bears are famished and on post-hibernation prowls. Wildlife officials said that when homeowners leave food outdoors it teaches bears that food is near human dwellings. One of the wildlife officers stated, “Every single one of them — and this is true for 95 percent of bear complaints –  it’s garbage, it’s bird feeders, it’s pet food. When you have a calling card of 10,000 calories of molasses, you can’t blame a bear for taking advantage of that.”

When will feeding bears, either intentionally or not, become illegal? Feeding bears results in their deaths too often. Why complain about bears in your backyard, if you leave birdseed or garbage out? The source of the problem is human behavior, not bear behavior.

Image Credit: Larry Brown

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Read more: Animal Rights, Behavior & Communication, Nature & Wildlife, Pets, Safety,

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272 comments

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6:06PM PST on Feb 4, 2013

Thank you Jake, for Sharing this!

8:02AM PST on Nov 5, 2012

Hard to accept such stupidity.

8:24AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

If one lives in bear country you know that you are not to leave food outside, it is common sense and prevents a lot of problems. Even when one is camping one is supposed to tie up food and leave it hanging over a tall branch to help prevent bears, not keep it in one's tent for instance.

The idea of keeping that amount of molasses under a front porch is just bizarre, it obviously is going to attract bears along with others. Unless the bear is crashing through your window, just get out of the way and call local officials to have the bear tranquilized if it hangs around too long. Leaving food out like that was just asking for trouble. He may as well have painted a bulls eye with; "Come And Get It!"

8:37PM PDT on Jul 13, 2012

So the bears were killed because humans were feeding them?? I can't believe what Im reading. What happened to the people who shot the bears? Oh wait "nothing".. Stupid people!!

7:10PM PDT on Jul 5, 2012

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! That guy deserves a permanent dunce cap. If you leave out food, all animals will come to check it out. Why do you think people are told not to feed the animals or leave food out where they can get to it.

3:30PM PDT on Jul 4, 2012

Another human related stupid behavior, damn!!

11:03PM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

It has been very dry weather in most places in the west -- so the bears are looking for food in extra places. This is possibly the biggest contributing factor to bears coming out of the wild. If you like say a prayer for rain, and the other prayers while you are at it, or send good will.

10:37PM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

Washington State is where this happened.

1:49PM PDT on Jul 2, 2012

To me this sounds as this criminal WANTED to kill a bear and attracted one with the molasses. He should be fined, jailed harshly. People are stupid or do it on purpose and they are getting away with it.

9:29AM PDT on Jul 2, 2012

The people who left food outside should have got a fine! They were the ones to punish, not the bears!

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