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bear Manchester NH

As the warmer months approach, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is alerting residents to be more vigilant as bears are increasingly venturing into urban areas in search of food. This advisory follows a recent event in a busy Manchester neighborhood where a black bear was observed climbing a tree, drawing significant local attention.

The sighting occurred last Saturday, underscoring the reality that wildlife, including bears, can appear in densely populated areas. Fish and Game officials remark that it is common for bears to make their way into urban settings and typically, they will return to more isolated areas autonomously by nightfall.

Preventive Measures and Safety Tips

In light of these occurrences, authorities are reminding citizens to implement bear-wise practices to prevent bear-human conflicts:

  • Remove Attractants: Secure garbage in bear-proof containers and only put trash out on the morning of collection. Remove bird feeders, especially during spring and summer when bears are most active.
  • Food Storage: Never leave pet food outdoors. Clean grills after use and ensure no food odors are lingering.
  • Be Alert: Always be aware of your surroundings, especially if you live near wooded areas or parks.


Understanding and Using Bear Spray

Another critical aspect of bear safety is understanding how to use bear spray effectively, if necessary. Bear spray is a vital self-defense tool when encountering bears at close range.

  • What is Bear Spray?: Bear spray is a potent aerosol pepper spray that causes temporary blindness and breathing difficulties in bears, giving you time to escape.
  • How to Use Bear Spray:
    • Carry it Accessibly: Have it on a belt holster or in an outer pocket of your backpack.
    • Practice: Familiarize yourself with the canister. Practice quick-draw scenarios so you know how to get it out and use it under stress.
    • Aim and Spray: If a bear approaches within your personal space (typically under 30 feet), direct the spray downwards towards the bear’s face as the cloud will billow upwards.
  • Safety Precautions:
    • Check Wind Direction: Before spraying, quickly assess the wind to avoid spraying yourself.
    • Do Not Run: Stay calm, speak in low tones, and back away slowly after deploying the spray. Running may trigger a chase response from the bear.


The Role of Community Awareness

Andrew Timmons, a bear biologist with Fish and Game, emphasizes the importance of community cooperation in these situations. “Unfortunately, bears are really tempted by human-related foods,” Timmons states, adding that handling these encounters passively is preferable. “It’s best to give them time and space. Often, they will leave quietly after dark if they feel unthreatened.”

Relocating bears can be stressful and complex for the animals, hence avoidance of attracting them into residential areas is crucial. By adhering to these guidelines, residents protect themselves and contribute to the welfare of the local wildlife, ensuring peaceful coexistence between humans and bears.

As always, be safe and be prepared.


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