Why You Could See More Bears This Spring

Record snowfall isn’t just bringing floods into California communities. It’s also bringing wildlife.

In a column for the Los Angeles Times, former Mammoth Lakes wildlife officer Steven Stearles predicts a lot more bear sightings this spring. That’s because their usual post-winter snacks are still buried under feet of snow, as are the footpaths they’d typically take in search of food. More bears will be out looking for nourishment and will be forced to take busy roads to find it. 

“An influx of bears is inevitable in towns and exurbs on the edge of the wilderness, which they will see as their honeypots, increasing the sort of run-ins with humans that don’t usually benefit either species,” Stearles cautions. “More peril awaits wildlife munching on the first shoots of spring in one of the few places they can find them — along roadsides next to speeding cars.” 

Stearles ought to know. He was once dubbed Mammoth Lakes’ “bear whisperer" and is currently working on a book titled “What the Bears Know.”

Though it may be tempting to help a starving animal, Stearles reminds the public not to feed wildlife, big or small.

Learn more about how you can protect your community from bears here.