By Erica Thomas, managing editor
TRUSSVILLE — Alabama’s Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division has set traps in the Trussville area after several black bear sightings were reported.
Marianne Hudson, with the division, said experts would like to evaluate the bear for its safety and for the safety of people living in surrounding areas.
“We would like to access its health both physically and behaviorally and make sure those are normal,” Hudson said.
Sightings were reported in the area of Goodner Mountain Road in Clay and in the areas of Trussville Clay Road and Deerfoot Parkway, in Trussville.
It is important to note, bears are protected in Alabama are there is no open season on black bears in the state. Anyone caught harming a bear could face tough penalties.
Two traps have been set by Alabama’s Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division. The traps are humane, according to Hudson. She said when the bear enters the cage, a door shuts behind it. At that time, a biologist is immediately notified.
Upon evaluation, experts will determine if the bear needs to be transported for further evaluation or relocated to another area.
In the meantime, Hudson suggests the following tips to discourage bear/human conflict:
- Place trash outside on pick-up days, and don’t leave it out overnight
- Remove deer and bird feeders at the first sighting of bear activity.
- Feed pets inside; if pets are fed outside, only feed the amount that will be consumed by your pet in a short time.
- Store grills and smokers inside when not in use to avoid damage to your cooking equipment.
If you do encounter a bear at close range:
- Do not run from the bear but back away slowly but clap your hands to let it know you are present.
- Stand tall and upright.
- Avoid direct eye contact.
- Make sure the bear has a free direction to escape.
- Never purposely feed a bear.