Utah’s Drought Conditions Could Lead To More Aggressive Black Bears, DWR Says
According to a press release from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, the likelihood of conflicts with bears increases during drought years because a bear’s normal food supply is decreased. This leads bears to seek alternative food sources, which can put many at risk. Utah’s low snow conditions and early warm weather can lead to bears coming out of hibernation earlier than normal. Additionally, drought conditions have a big impact on plant growth, which makes up approximately 90% of a black bear’s diet.
Because bears have an amazing sense of smell and have no problem eating food that people eat, bears start scavenging for food that humans are cooking and eating when their own food supply is low. This is the result of many of the conflicts between people and bears, according to the DWR.
Some tips from the DWR on how to keep yourself and bears safe include bear-proofing your food and supplies, keeping your cooking area and campsite clean, never feeding a bear and knowing bear behavior.