2012-10-25 / Front Page

Experts suggest bear caution with pumpkins

Pumpkins are known bear attractants. Residents are advised not to leave the orange gourds out lest they attract some real monsters this Halloween.

During recent Octobers, Yosemite Valley bears have made meals out of carved pumpkins, reports Yosemite wildlife biologist Cailin Lee-Roney.

The same advice is likely sound for all of Mariposa County--which is bear habitat from one side to the other.

Eating pumpkins is dangerous for bears because it teaches bears to associate neighborhoods and homes with food. This could ultimately change a bear's natural foraging behavior. In a worst-case scenario, a bear could become a nuisance bear and end up euthanized in the Park or elsewhere in the county. 

On Halloween night, it is okay to put pumpkins out near your home for trick-or-treaters, but it's a good idea to bring them inside that night and throw them away in a bear-proof Dumpster when you are done with them. 

Photo: Julie Larsen Maher / Wildlife Conservation SocietyPhoto: Julie Larsen Maher / Wildlife Conservation Society

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