The advisory issued Monday follows the recent injury of a dog that chased a bear in a Patterson neighborhood.
Bears are seeking food sources in and around neighborhoods throughout the parish, the advisory stated. This can include plentiful live oak acorns in people’s yards and unsecured garbage containers, it stated. Pet food containers left outdoors will also attract black bears, the advisory stated.
LDWF reported it has partnered with St. Mary Parish to provide homeowners bear-proof garbage containers to control this easy-access food source problem. Homeowners who already have bear-proof garbage containers are advised to make sure the cans are locked and not overfilled.
During the peak time of higher than normal bear activity, residents are advised to secure their dogs, the department advisory stated. Bears are normally shy and non-confrontational, but will protect themselves and their cubs when chased by dogs, it stated.
The advisory stated traps will be set in neighborhoods where nuisance bears re-appear and the department will work with the parish to ensure compliance with bear-proof garbage container instructions.
Residents should report broken garbage containers to the St. Mary Parish bear conflict officer at 337-828-4100. To report problems with bears call 1-800-442-2511.
For more information, contact Maria Davidson, LDWF Wildlife Division, at 225-931-3061.