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What Do You Need to Know If You See a Black Bear?

GEORGIA – Sightings of Georgia’s native black bears typically begin to pick up in the spring. These sightings are normal, and are to be expected across our state, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.

Where have the bears been? Hibernating! Many Georgia black bears, especially females with young cubs, have spent the last several months, from about Thanksgiving to now, in a state of dormancy (biologists refer to this as “torpor”). During this annual phase of a bear’s life cycle, normal processes like eating, drinking, and other natural functions are on “sleep mode” while they endure the cold temperatures and winter weather conditions. When hibernating, bears experience a reduced heart rate, respiration rate, and body temperature, and they survive by burning fat reserves built up throughout late summer and autumn.

“As you can imagine, bears are hungry and ready to find food when they leave those dens. This search for food can sometimes put them a little too close to people,” says Adam Hammond, state bear biologist with the Wildlife Resources Division. “What can we do to help if bears get too close? Become ‘BearWise.’ When we become ‘BearWise’ and learn to live responsibly with bears, it helps protect and keep bears wild, and allows us to better manage our neighborhoods and businesses.” …Continue Reading HERE.

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