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Wildlife officials remind people to remain bear aware

Posted at 7:16 PM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-04 12:35:50-04

Wildlife experts warn residents and visitors to Montana about bears.

Dillon Tabish, Fish Wildlife and Parks Information and Education Program Manager told MTN that residents need to hide all bear attractants.

"This time of year bears are trying to eat as many calories as they possibly can before they go into winter hibernation," he said. "They can smell food from a mile away."

Tabish explained to MTN that one of the biggest bear attractants are fruit trees.

"Keep garbage inside until the day of pick up," said Tabish. "If you have domestic fruit trees, this time of year domestic fruit trees are a big attractant for bears."

Gina Kerzman, Public Information Officer with Glacier National Park told MTN that if you're to the park, visitors need to be prepared for a bear encounter.

"All of our popular locations such as Hidden Lake, Avalanche Lake, Piegan Pass, Otokomi Lake," said Kerzman. "All of the real popular ones are currently posted for bear frequenting."

Both Tabish and Kerzman remind people to bring bear spray and make sure it's easily accessible.

If you encounter a bear, do not run, slowly back away and make noise to alert the bear of your presence.

In the worst case scenario Kerzman says what you should do if you're approached by a bear.

"Lay down on the ground, on your stomach with your hand over the back of your neck," said Kerzman. "If the bear tries to flip you over continue rolling and stay on your stomach as much as possible to protect your organs."

Kerzman told MTN that if a hikers does come across wildlife or a carcass on the trail you're to report it to a park ranger.