Busy Bears in Missoula – 10 to 15 Reports Received Each Day
On Thursday morning, there were reports of a bear getting into trashcans on Big Flat Road. According to Fish Wildlife and Parks Bear Manager Jamie Jonkle that bear isn’t the only one he’s been dealing with in Missoula.
"It's a lot more than just one bear, I can tell you that! Big Flat, Rattlesnake... everywhere. Anyone that is leaving their garbage out all week is encouraging bears to come in, I'm averaging about 10 to 15 calls a day."
The actual number and location of bear reports can be seen at Missoulabears.org. Jonkle says this summer was good for bears, but although there were lots of berries available, a huckleberry just doesn’t match up to an apple or some left-over human food.
"Most of the folks want us to come trap a bear that's been getting into garbage that they've left out all week, or eating their apples next to the door of their apartment. What we are telling folks is that you've got to keep your garbage contained, we don't trap on top of garbage. If you've got apples off of your balcony or off your back porch, then pick your apples: clean up."
It’s especially important to keep things clean at this time of year as bears are in a state called hyperphagia, which basically means “very hungry,” that drives them eat ravenously before hibernation.