Tim Basso and his family were quite surprised to see a mama bear and her five cubs frolicking around in their backyard swimming pool. The family lives in New Jersey in a Rockaway Township home.
Basso says he thought the bears were only going to stop long enough to get a drink, but they ended up playing in the backyard for almost an hour. The six bears climbed in and out of the pool, played with some inflatable toys, and even climbed on a swing and slide playset.
Basso’s two daughters, ages three and five, weren’t too excited to see the bears playing with their toys. One of the daughters yelled, “No,” as one of the bears grabbed her inflatable swimming toy.
The Basso family watched the bears wrestle and play from safely inside of their home while video taping the action.
Most people want to see bears. But, what if you do encounter a bear or several bears in your backyard?
- Immediately report the sighting to the authorities.
- Walk, never run away, and don’t make eye contact.
- Encourage the bear to leave your property by banging on pots and pans or making other loud noises.
- Always be prepared by carrying pepper spray or bear spray if you live near bear country.
Here are some tips to bear-proof your property:
- Don’t have birds feeders hanging around. Bears will eat the bird food.
- Keep garbage out of sight and in an air-tight container, preferably in a garage or shed.
- If you have a compost pile, don’t put meat or food scraps in it. Bears can smell it.
- Make sure to clean your grill thoroughly after each use. The bear will smell the meat that was cooked on it if it’s not cleaned.
- Build fences around fruit bushes or trees. Don’t allow rotten fruit to lay on the ground.
REMEMBER: Wildlife managers remind us that a bear that has been fed is usually a dead bear. Why? Because feeding them promotes behaviors that cannot be tolerated around humans. If a bear is fed, he tends to return again and again and becomes more agressive.
“Wildlife managers called in to deal with a ‘problem’ bear will try relocating it or discouraging it by using pepper spray, firing rubber bullets and deploying specially trained bear dogs. If these methods fail, killing the bear is usually the next course of action. Black bears are given three chances when they are relocated. Unfortunately, most relocated bears return to the location they were first trapped within days and have to be killed. Research on breaking bears of the human-related food habit continues, but at present wildlife experts agree: A fed bear, more often than not, is a dead bear. In the Montana portion of the Yellowstone ecosystem, feeding by humans contributes to more grizzly bear deaths than any other factor, figuring in more than a third of the grizzly mortalities reported annually.”
Be Bear Smart!
[Photo via: mmc news]