NM Game and Fish warns that dry conditions could increase bear sightings

Local News

Photo via New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Instagram page.

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Due to the dry conditions in many parts of New Mexico, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish says there could be an increase in bear activity in urban areas, including Ruidoso.

In dry conditions, the New Mexico black bear can travel outside of their home range, sometimes into urban areas, to look for food and water. That means places in New Mexico that are close to mountain ranges with good bear populations, such as Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Ruidoso, may have more bear sightings this year.

To help keep bears away from your home, New Mexico Game and Fish offers these suggestions:

  • Garbage: Store it in closed, sturdy cans kept inside a secure garage. Do not put out the trash the night before a scheduled pickup.
  • Pet food: Feed pets indoors. Store food in secure metal cans inside a sturdy shed or garage. Make sure the garage door is closed at night.
  • Bird feeders: Set out only enough birdseed to last throughout the day. Hummingbird feeders should be brought inside at night. Hang bird feeders from trees, not on the porch or from the house rafters.
  • Fruit trees: Plant fruit trees away from your house. Fruit should be picked as it ripens. Spoiled fruit that falls to the ground should be removed because it will attract bears.
  • Woodpiles: Keep woodpiles away from the house. They attract rodents, which bears eat.
  • Compost piles: Keep piles away from the house. Do not add melon rinds or other fragrant fruits.
  • Beehives and chicken pens: Livestock and beehives should be kept away from your house. Protect them with electric fencing.
  • Barbecues: Clean after each use and store in a closed sturdy shed or garage.

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