The end of the winter season is approaching and as the snow melts, common winter birds begin to head back north. Dapper gray and white juncos, beautiful finches, and other species that took advantage of the backyard feeder leave and are replaced by robins and other birds of the summer. As the weather changes, we might also see other types of animals visiting the backyard. If the backyard is big and close to forested areas and green space, such wildlife can include raccoons, opossums, wild turkeys, and even deer. However, as much as we enjoy watching wildlife in the backyard, there are certain animals that we would probably rather see elsewhere. One such animal is the Black Bear, a large animal that has become surprisingly common in certain parts of the eastern United States.
The Black Bear ranges in fairly wild, woodland habitats in much of Canada and Alaska, and a small population also lives in the mountains of northern Mexico. It also occurs in the lower 48 states in parts of the Great Lakes region, New England, the Appalachians, the Ozarks, the Rocky Mountains, the coastal Pacific states, and small populations in coastal forests of the southern states. Historically, this species lived over a much larger area but deforestation and constant hunting caused it to disappear from various parts of its range. Despite those declines, decades of reforestation and hunting regulations have given a boost to Black Bear populations in many places, especially the north-eastern states.
One such place where bears have made a notable increase is northern New Jersey. The proximity of heavily forested state parks to small towns has resulted in many sightings of bears in urban areas, on trails in parks, and some even visiting big backyards. Although most bears stay away from people, some do become so accustomed to people that they lose their fear of humans, rummage through garbage cans, and look for hand-outs. These bears are the ones that can cause problems and even become dangerous because they associate people with food and can lash out when they don’t get what they want. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to avoid such problem bears by just keeping a safe distance from any bear that seems tame, and never giving them food. Instead of throwing it a snack or two, if a “tame” bear is encountered in the garden or elsewhere, the animal control authorities should be called as soon as possible.
The easiest way to keep bears out of the backyard is by removing any sources of food. Some suggestions include not leaving garbage outside or keeping it in a locked container, putting bird feeders into storage until the bear has been removed, not leaving pet food outside (which also attracts other animals), and quickly harvesting berries and other fruits before bears can come and eat them. Large dogs can also keep bears away but it’s better to keep the dogs inside if bears are around because dogs of any size can be injured or even killed by a bear, and small pets could become easy prey.
Although some folks might love to see a bear or two in the garden, both us and the bears will be much better off if we leave those encounters to the wild places. Instead of bringing wild Black Bears into the garden, we can still enjoy the beauty and wild, curious nature of these wonderful animals by way of realistic animal garden sculptures. These include detailed statues like “The Expert Fisherman” Black Bear Statue, and the Lemont the Lovable Lounger Black Bear Statue.
Find the best selection of high quality animal garden statues at Design Toscano.