The bear necessities about bears in Pennsylvania

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DALLAS, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Our mild winter and recent warm-up will likely impact bears in our area as they start to come out of hibernation.

It has been an unseasonably warm winter which has had an impact on the animals in our area, including bears. Eyewitness News spoke to the Pennsylvania Game Commission on what you need to know.

“Certainly the weather has been conducive to bears coming out a little bit earlier this year. Generally the bears come out of hibernation when food starts popping up out of the ground in the form of vegetation, grasses, and especially this time of year, skunk cabbage,” William Williams, information and education supervisor for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Northeast Region, said.

Bears have been sleeping for months so when they come out of hibernation, they are looking for food.

“They’ve lost a tremendous amount of body weight. They haven’t eaten or drank anything for six months. They haven’t urinated or defecated in six months,” Williams said.

This leads to bears to go after food that’s easy to get.

“Whatever food is available and that could be in the form of household trash maybe left out or bird feeders. Not uncommon to see bears get into trouble with those items this time of year,” Williams said.

If you do see a bear in your yard or on a hike, do not be alarmed.

And it just so happens that right now the Game Commission is tracking bears in the Poconos, keeping an eye on the growing bear population in northeastern Pennsylvania.

To keep bears away from your property, only put trash out the morning of garbage day and bring your bird feeders in for a few weeks.

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