What Is a “Nuisance” Black Bear?

A “nuisance” is any black bear someone considers unwelcome. Everyone has a different idea about what makes a bear unwelcome and what merits removal from a population.

In many examples across America, the more people learn about black bears and are able to observe them, the more willing they are to coexist with them.

Nuisance? Or are they welcomed neighbors?


To some a bear is unwelcome and should be removed if it While others
lives in their area. enjoy occasional glimpses of wildlife.
invades their yard. revel that they live in an area so rich in wildlife.
eats from a bird feeder. feel seeing a bear at a feeder is the joy of their day.
does not run at the sight of a human. see a trusting black bear as an opportunity for observation.  They know the record shows that such bears are no more dangerous than other black bears.
frequents a residential area. remove food attractants if they don’t want to see bears.
tears into a storage shed. determine what attracted the bear and prevent it from happening again.
enters a house. close windows and doors to prevent it from happening again.
lightly nips someone who attempts to handle it, hand-feed it, or tease it. refrain from such activities or learn from them.
displays bluster, which they interpret as a threat. understand that bluster expresses nervousness and is not a threat.
bites someone. request leniency for the bear if the circumstances were extenuating and the bear is not a threat to public safety.

This was the pioneer attitude that eliminated black bears from much of their former range and prevents their return.  Fortunately, many people have moved beyond this attitude.

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