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Keep Me Wild: Black Bear

Stash Your Food and Trash

Bears and other animals are attracted to anything edible or smelly.

  • Store garbage in bear-proof containers, or store garbage in your garage until pick-up.
  • Keep food indoors or in airtight and odor-free containers.
  • Put away picnic leftovers; clean BBQ grills.
  • Keep pet food inside, and bird feeders away.
  • Pick up fallen tree fruit as soon as possible, or protect fruit trees with electric fencing.
  • Remove cosmetic fragrances and other attractants, including bird feeders and compost piles.
  • Install or request bear-proof trash containers.

Bear Country Precautions

  • Keep a close watch on children, and teach them what to do if they encounter a bear.
  • While hiking, make noise to avoid a surprise encounter with a bear.
  • Never keep food in your tent.
  • Store food and toiletries in bear-proof containers or in an airtight container in the trunk of your vehicle.
  • Keep a clean camp by cleaning up and storing food and garbage immediately after meals.
  • Use bear-proof garbage cans whenever possible or store your garbage in a secure location with your food.
  • Never approach a bear or pick up a bear cub.
  • If you encounter a bear, do not run; instead, face the animal, make noise and try to appear as large as possible.
  • If attacked, fight back.
  • If a bear attacks a person, immediately call 911.

When wild animals are allowed to feed on human food and garbage, they lose their natural ways – often resulting in death for the animal.

Please respect and protect wild animals.
Keep them wild.


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Office of Communications, Education and Outreach
1416 9th Street, 12th Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 322-8911


black bear

Wildlife-proof Products

bear-proof garbage receptacle

A variety of products are available to keep wildlife away from human food sources.