Warmer weather means more black bear sightings

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - Now that the weather is getting warmer, more people in the La Crosse area are reporting seeing bears in their backyards.

Wisconsin DNR wildlife biologist Ron Lichtie says they haven't been receiving as many bear reports this year as they normally do, but this is the time of year the sightings tend to increase.

"About this time, when it starts getting hot and drier up on the bluffs and before all the berries are quite ready, they'll sneak down into town and they smell some garbage or something like that, and they're just looking for food sources or a place to cool off," said Lichtie.

Lichtie says if you do see bears rummaging through things in your yard, it's a good idea to hide or remove those food sources for up to two weeks to make sure the bears don't come back to the area.

He also says there are other things you can do to make sure bears move out of the area.

"Making some noise, banging on a pot and pan or just saying, 'hey bear, hey bear,' and make sure you're safe doing it. You don't have to go and try approaching the bear, but be at a safe distance," said Lichtie.

If you see a bear in the area and want to report it, you can call the DNR's La Crosse office at 608-785-9000.

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