One of the joys of visiting Mammoth Lakes is wildlife sightings, mostly American black bears. It is not unusual to see a bear wandering through town or near your hotel. Unfortunately for wildlife, humans can pose a problem to their natural habitat. Remember it is our responsibility to keep our wildlife wild. The best way of doing this, and preventing bears from becoming dependent on humans for food, is to follow these rules:
Never Feed Wildlife
• Do not leave any food or trash outside unattended.
• Remove all food and scented items (such as shampoo, deodorant or lotion) from your car.
• Keep your car locked.
• Don’t leave pet food or bowls outside.
• Deposit all trash in a bear-proof trash can or dumpster and be sure to secure it afterwards.
• Close and lock your windows when you leave if you’re staying on a ground floor level.
If You See a Bear
• Keep your distance and enjoy it from afar.
• Do not get between a mother bear and her cubs.
• If in a group, never surround a bear – give it a clear escape path.
• Don’t ever turn your back or run from a bear.
• Make loud noises and yell, clap or bang on something to scare it away.
If you see a bear misbehaving, such as trying to get into a dumpster, vehicle, or building, call 911 immediately. The town police and wildlife specialist are trained to handle wildlife situations.
When driving, especially at dusk or dawn, be on the lookout for animals crossing the roadway. Hitting a bear or deer can be fatal – not only to the animal, but also to car passengers.
For more information on co-existing with wildlife in Mammoth Lakes, contact the Mammoth Lakes Police Dept. at 760.937.BEAR.