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Dubuque residents encouraged to secure garbage, remove pet food and bird feeders to avoid wandering black bear

File Photo of a black bear
File Photo of a black bear(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 4:37 PM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is encouraging residents to take precautionary steps as a black bear has been spotted in northeast Dubuque.

“To encourage it to move along, people in the area need to remove the easy meals - put away birdseed, put away barbeque drip pans, and keep pet food and garbage in places bears can’t access,” said Curt Kemmerer, a wildlife biologist with the Iowa DNR. “Once the food is gone, the bear will move on to natural food sources out of town as the green-up occurs.”

46 black bear sightings have been confirmed in Iowa since 2002, with two to five being spotted per year since 2014. Most of Iowa’s bear sightings start in late May continuing into July, due to bears emerging from their winter dens hungry.

“We want to give this bear a chance to move along by removing the food incentives for it to stay,” Kemmerer said. “The situation remains fluid and our approach depends upon the behavior of the bear. That could change if human safety becomes an issue.”

Experts say that if you do encounter a bear, to avoid running away.

“Instead, back away slowly and cautiously while facing it. Make noise so they know you’re there,” he said

You can find more information on how to minimize conflict with bears at www.bearwise.org

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