AUGUSTA — Maine wildlife officials are warning homeowners to remove bird feeders and other easy food targets for bears as the hungry bruins emerge from their winter dens this month.
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says bears may also be attracted to backyard garbage cans, Dumpsters and grills where food or the odor of food is prevalent.
With natural food not readily available to them, bears may roam into backyards looking for things to eat. Besides taking down bird feeders, homeowners should rake up and dispose of bird seed on the ground, and store remaining bird seed indoors.
Last year, which included a premature spring, the Maine Warden Service received 870 bear-related complaints, compared to 395 in 2010 and 436 in 2011.