Berwick sightings are reminder bears are foraging

Critical habitat area for Louisiana black bear.

By JEAN L. KAESS jkaess@daily-review.com

A black bear spotted Wednesday morning rummaging through garbage in Berwick brings a reminder that this is a heavy foraging time of year for the bears, meaning they will be out in force as they prepare for hibernation.
The black bear was spotted Wednesday morning rummaging through garbage in residents’ carports in the area of Techeview Drive and Brighton Lane in Berwick, Police Chief James Richard said.
The bear was seen several times and Richard advised residents to make sure they do not leave trash out that would attract bears, he said.
Catherine Siracusa, St. Mary’s black bear conflict officer, said acorns and pecans are thin this year, so the bears are looking for food.
Add to that hunters seeding fields with corn, including in fields behind the civic center and around Thorguson Road, and bears are attracted to the area.
Here, though, black bears don’t truly hibernate. They just become less active. A female at least 3 years old would be pregnant now and have cubs in January. Those cubs would follow their mother out of the den in March to April. They stay with their mother for about 18 months, Siracusa said.
An average of two to three Louisiana black bears, a threatened species, is killed on roadways in the state each month. A slight trend upward is being seen because there are more bears, Siracusa said.

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