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Bearwise Tips for Fall

BearWise Tips for Fall

Fall is one of the best times to spend time outdoors, and it is also one of the busiest times for our native Black Bears.

They are going through a natural activity cycle called Hyperphagia. Hyperphagia is an increase in feeding activity driven by the need to fatten up before going into their den for the winter. While you are using outdoor spaces, it is important to remember to be BearWise to avoid encounters with wild bears as they forage and bulk up for the winter.

When you’re enjoying nature in bear country, make sure you use these tips to protect yourself and our native Black bears:

– Be aware of your surroundings

– Look for clues that there may be bears nearby, such as scattered trash, scat or tracks, and even clawed tree trunks.

– Make noise periodically to let any nearby bears know you are there- bears will avoid people if they can. – Keep pets leashed at all times or leave them at home

– Letting dogs bark or startle bears is asking for trouble. Don’t make a bear defend itself.

– Double bag all of your food items and pack out your trash- leaving items out teaches bears to associate food with people or campsites, which creates trouble for the bear.


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The mission of the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is to create compelling experiences that connect people and community with wildlife, and inspire personal responsibility for conservation of the natural world. Education. Conservation. Adventure. Community.


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