For Immediate Release
May 27, 2016
Contact: Anthony Rankin
Animal Services Programs Manager
Migrating Bears Spotted in Fayetteville
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. —Watch those birdfeeders! Over the past week there have been multiple sightings of black bears in Fayetteville. The American black bear is the smallest of the three North American bear species and the only one native to our region. They range in size from 300 pounds for females and up to 500 pounds for males.
“Lots of people consider them to be large predators, but they are actually omnivorous. Most of their ‘prey’ consists of insects and berries,” said Anthony Rankin, manager for the City’s Animal Services Program. Rankin continued, “In Fayetteville, black bears present very little to almost no threat to humans or even our domestic pets. In fact, most conflicts between black bears and humans revolve around birdfeeders, because bears are opportunistic eaters this time of year and are always looking for a quick snack.” He went on to explain, “Bears consider birdfeeders like a drive-thru for a quick meal as they pass through the area.”
According to Rankin, Fayetteville is located in the middle of a migration route for bears as they leave their winter denning area north of Fayetteville and travel south to their summer feeding grounds.
Rankin advised, “If you see a bear in your neighborhood – our best advice is to keep your distance and enjoy a very natural part of living in the Natural State. We also recommend temporarily taking down your birdfeeders so there is nothing to draw bears into your yard.”
If you really don't want them around, nothing scares bears off faster than the sound of human activity. Banging of pots and pans, playing some music, and in general just making your presence known should be enough to scare off any bear. Finally, bears that do not seem to be afraid of humans and have become a reoccurring nuisance should be reported to Arkansas Game and Fish Commission at 1-800-482-9262.
To learn more about black bears, check out the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission website.