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BigOutdoors
10-25-2010, 06:17 PM
Bears now breaking into cars in Intervale

BARTLETT A mother bear and her cub are proving to be smarter than the average bears. The sow and her cub broke into two vehicles in the Intervale area within a day. They actually opened the unlocked car doors and entered.
On Tuesday, the mother and cub opened the door of David and Dorothy Brownell's car while it was parked in front of their Mount Surprise Road home.

"The bears did not do any damage at all," Mrs. Brownell said. She believed they were in search of health bar wrappers. The bruins also clawed at a tissue box before leaving the scene.

Brownell considered herself lucky compared the damage the two bears did to a vehicle on Skyline Drive the next day. "From what I hear they basically wrecked the car," she said.

Apparently the bears broke into the car, using the same technique as the night before, only this time the car door closed behind them, trapping the due inside.

"All things considered, we got lucky," Brownell said. "I think people need to be made aware of this and keep their cars locked."
Brian Abrams, conservation officer for New Hampshire Fish and Game, said a trap is ready to be set for the bears. "We were hoping for a fresh sighting," he said.

Abrams said the amount of natural food acorns and beechnuts is down over previous years, prompting the bears to look elsewhere.
"There are some acorns, but it's been pretty spotty," he said. "I've not seen a lot beechnuts. With these warm days the bears are out there trying to put on some fat before winter."

Abrams said bears in this area tend to go into hibernation once the ground freezes, generally in late November into early December.
This summer, Fish and Game had a problem with a mother bear and her two cubs breaking into five homes in the Hurricane Mountain Road area. Homes on Skyline Drive and on nearby Hurricane Mountain Road and Crestwood Drive, located off Hurricane Mountain Road, were vandalized by the three bears, prompting Fish and Game to set a trap, but the bears were never caught.

Wildlife officials in August believed the three bears may have found enough natural food in the woods to satisfy their appetites, but that food supply may have diminished greatly.

Fish and Game issued warnings to the two residents in Intervale who had been feeding the bears peanut butter sandwiches earlier this summer.
There was a possibility that the mother bear would have to be put down and the two cubs relocated because they had become too domesticated.
"We've issued two written warnings," Abrams said of the bear feeders. "We've asked them to comply with no further feeding. I think they understand now what can happen when you feed them."
Fines as high as $1,000 can be levied against those caught irresponsibly feeding bears.

"There have been fines issued this year," Jake Borgeson, in his fourth year as seasonal bear technician for U.S. Wildlife Service, said. "Landowners need to realize that feeding bears is eventually going to destroy them."
Borgeson said relocating bears can be difficult because they often return to where they came from or show up at a new location and continue to pursue human food.

"The bears are smart and are so easily habituated," he said.
The estimated statewide bear population in New Hampshire is about 4,800 animals.