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TWRA removing bear trap from JC site because of inactivity

April 14th, 2014 7:02 pm by Staff Report

TWRA removing bear trap from JC site because of inactivity

Reported bear damage to the SUV belonging to Doug Hammit is shown in this NET News Service photo from April 10. (Tony Duncan)

Bear menaces west Johnson City

JOHNSON CITY — Sometimes the best choice is to punt.

For several days, officials from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency have been attempting to trap a black bear that's been causing problems around the N. North Street and Sherwood Forest area of Johnson City. Wildlife Officer David Crum said the bear has gotten into bird feeders and trash cans, and is in the same general area where nuisance complaints came from last fall.

But because of inactivity at the trap site, TWRA officials have chosen to remove the trap and reevaluate the situation if new sightings are reported.

The TWRA has increased its presence in these areas and will continue to closely monitor the places where bear issues have occurred.

Once a bear is habituated to humans and becomes conditioned on food, it can become dangerous.

"Food is a bear's primary attractant and steps should be taken to deter their access to it. The old saying that a fed bear is a dead bear is absolutely true," Dan Gibbs, TWRA Region 4 wildlife management research coordinator, said in a release from the TWRA.

Some advice to help deter bear vs. human conflicts:

— Secure all garbage and recyclables in an area not easily accessible to bears and place trash outside on pick-up days, not the night before.

— Bird seed/feeders should be removed until the late fall. Utilize flower plantings and birdbaths for viewing opportunities.

— Feed outdoor pets a portion size that will be completely consumed during each meal, and securely store pet foods in an area not easily accessible to bears.

— Keep grills and smokers clean and securely stored in an area not easily accessible to bears when not in use.

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