Sunday, July 18, 2010

Please feed the bears?

A black bear biologist from Minnesota has stirred up a bit of controversy with his proposal that feeding bears actually keeps them out of trouble with humans.

Black bear biologist Lynn Rogers, from the Wildlife Research Institute in Ely, Minnesota, thinks that hunger is largely to
blame for so-called nuisance behaviors.

Placing food such as nuts, sunflower seeds, or even beef fat away from potential problem areas in situations where bears might be desperate—such as during droughts—can reduce break-ins and other potentially dangerous 
human-bear interactions, he said.

Rogers draws his conclusions from long-running field experiments in Minnesota, including one state-government-administered project in which he and a team placed food — mainly unlimited amounts of beef fat — in the
 middle of an area with homes and campsites.

You can read the full story from National Geographic News by clicking here.

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