Neighbors have reported seeing bears at all times of the day and night. Travelling safely, or deterring bears from your property, the more you know the better.
The privilege of living in a rural area such as ours comes with responsibilities. In order to maintain healthy bear populations and reduce conflicts with bears, certain precautions should be taken. Whether it is keeping the garbage at your home secure, or maintaining a clean property line by being sure you pick up your fallen fruit on a regular bases, your behavior often dictates the bear’s behavior.
How you behave often dictates the outcome of an encounter with a bear. Even though encounters with bears are not common and aggressive bear encounters are rare, the more you know about bear safety the better off you are.
Bears are naturally shy animals and prefer to avoid people. Conflicts arise when they are attracted to human food or garbage or when we surprise them while out on a walk.
f You Have a Problem with a Bear Around Your Home: If in spite of your best prevention efforts a bear is causing a problem around your home, here are a few things you can do to get it to leave.
· First make sure that you and your family are in a safe spot (inside a house or vehicle, or standing close together with 3 or more people).
· Make noise (yell, bang pans, etc.) to scare the bear.
· If the bear is not threatening, watch it and try to figure out why it is attracted to your property. Fix the problem after the bear leaves.
· If the bear is a threat to a person's life or your property you may either call the Police (911), your local Fish and Game office.
· Be responsible by not negligently leaving human or pet food or garbage in a manner that attracts bears.
Taking a Walk? Be on Full Alert
While walking, be very alert to the possibility of surprising a bear. If a bear hears or sees you coming in its direction, the bear will almost always move away from you. You will likely never see or hear that bear. If you do encounter a bear that hasn’t detected you, leave the area without disturbing it. If you do surprise one, or you see a bear that then moves toward you, talk calmly and loudly and wave your arms above your head. If you have a walking partner, stand side-by-side to make yourselves look larger. Do not turn your back and run: This may cause the bear to mistake you for an animal to be chased and caught. Instead, you should leave or back away from a kill area or cubs with an expressed sense of determination: Standing your ground at an occupied kill site or between a sow and her cubs is NOT a good idea.
If a bear suddenly and aggressively attacks you, lay on your stomach with feet spread apart and hands clasped behind your head and neck. Be silent. Do not move or make any noise until you are absolutely certain the bear has left. This may seem like an eternity, but you cannot risk being re-attacked. Even if it is departing, the bear could look back at you to see if the perceived danger is still active.
You may wish to carry a can of “bear spray.” Bear spray is easy to use and has proven to be effective in stopping bear attacks or minimizing injuries when used properly at close range on bears.
Preserving a quality community
The Little Bandits aka Raccoons are out in full force. A resident took a few good snap shots of her visitors last night (Top right photo shown). I have lost countless pond fish and chase them out of our yard weekly. I am not sure if any other residents are having as much trouble as I am or the resident that reported her troubles last night. But thought I would take this opportunity to supply some helpful tips that may curb their visits.
San Antonio Heights Community is located in the Foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. We often share our home backyard with wildlife which is indigenous to the region or we come across them on the many hiking trails nearby. It is important we learn to live with these creatures and, at the same time, protect our homes, our pets and our small children. Read the following posts that came from our SAH Bulletin emails and sign up to receive future notices and updates. Click on button below to learn more about predators found in our community.
Coyotes play an important role in the ecosystem, helping to keep rodent populations under control. They are by nature fearful of humans, however if coyotes are given access to human food and garbage, their behavior changes. They lose caution and fear. They may cause property damage. They might threaten human safety and as we know our family pets.
Relocating is no longer available. Trapping and destroying is an option. However it only serves as a temporary fix. Coyotes are territorial if we destroy the “Heights” Coyotes a new pack will move in.
Our Coyotes are hungry and thirsty. The drought has played a huge part in this as well. We cannot stop the Coyotes from roaming or hunting, especially at night when most of us our sleeping. But we can scare them away and make them feel uncomfortable during the day. This method can prove to be effective if we stay consistent as a community. If you see a coyote during the day yell, honk your horn if you are in your vehicle. Or throw rocks and make lots of noise and they will scurry away. Break up their daily routine. At night bring your pets in. This is not a cure all just tips provided by the Fish & Game.
"Coyote country" precautions
Never feed or attempt to tame coyotes. The result may be deadly conflicts with pets or livestock, or serious injuries to small children.
Do not leave small children or pets outside unattended.
Install motion-sensitive lighting around the house.
Trim ground-level shrubbery to reduce hiding places.
Be aware that coyotes are more active in the spring, when feeding and protecting their young.
If followed by a coyote, make loud noises. If this fails, throw rocks in the animal’s direction.
If a coyote attacks a person, immediately contact the nearest Department of Fish and Game or law enforcement office.
Stash Your Food and Trash
Allowing coyotes access to human food and garbage is reckless and deadly.
Coyotes primarily hunt rodents and rabbits for food, but will take advantage of whatever is available, including garbage, pet food, and domestic animals.
· Put garbage in tightly closed containers that cannot be tipped over.
· Remove sources of water, especially in dry climates.
· Bring pets in at night, and do not leave pet food outside.
· Put away bird feeders at night to avoid attracting rodents and other coyote prey.
· Provide secure enclosures for rabbits, poultry, etc.
· Pick up fallen fruit and cover compost piles.
· Ask your neighbors to follow these tips.
(Photos taken same day on 25th Street and Vista)
One of the things that make The Heights so special is all the different species that flourish here. We have Coyotes, Bobcats, Mountain Lions, Raccoons and Bears just to name a few. This year we have received several reports of sightings of all of the above. If you have lived in the Heights for a number of years these sightings are not that unusual. However I can say that there has been a bit more sightings of bears this year than we are used to hearing about.
Having a dog indoors might help too, having him outdoors in the daytime also (watch your dog carefully, even though his barking might scare some wildlife, you don't want your dog being a target of bigger wildlife like a bear). Never leave your dog tied up outdoors unattended, ever.
Make sure there are no easy entrances to your attic (flimsy or missing soffit, etc.)
Cayenne Pepper works wonders. Spread it around and into the bird feeders to deter raccoons from visiting. They will taste it and not like it. Be generous on the first spread. They will get the message and move on. It does not seem to affect the birds.
Remember that even a bird feeder with sunflower seeds might be tempting to a raccoon. Put your bird feeders out of their reach and store seed in metal trash cans.
Remember the bottom line: If you leave food and water or either around, or even leave the hose dripping water, you will most always find wildlife hanging around your home. So, keep it clean, keep it spotless and you'll be raccoon free.
Raccoons can be scared away by flashing a light on them or making a loud noise. Trying to approach or trap them can be dangerous.
If all else fails, you can call your local animal control board for more information about what might be effective in your area. Traps are one option.
Tip 1 You must identify points of entry. You're looking for holes 3 inches in diameter or bigger. If they're in your attic, look under nooks, dormers, or broken vents. If you hear them in your crawl space look for broken vents or borrows. Close off (use 1/2 inch metal meshing then hit it with a foam gun) all points of entry except the one you think they use most.
Tip 2 Soak up 3-5 tennis balls with ammonia and throw them inside and around the places you think they're nesting. This should motivate the raccoons to move and relocate their young. The smell will make their living conditions unbearable, but it smells like a decent cleaning solution to us.
Tip 3 Boil one cup of cayenne pepper and 3-5 chopped habanero chili's with water in a pot and let it cool; transfer into a spray bottle. Put on goggles and a gas mask and spray all entry points you have tacked up.