'Thrown like King Kong': Black bear sightings rise in New England

'Thrown like King Kong': Black bear sightings rise in New England
Black bear. (USDA).
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Black bears are making more appearances across the state of New Hampshire, according to local news reports and attestations from residents.

Some five thousand black bears are thought to live in New Hampshire — and thus, encounters with bears are inevitable, notes local broadcaster WMUR.

New Hampshire Fish and Game suggests “securing garbage, keeping grills clean, and making sure not to leave pet food outdoors.” They also say that bird feeders should be removed from Apr. 1 to Dec. 1st of each year, and suggest that hikers carry bear spray, make loud noises if they encounter a bear, and not run away during an encounter.

They also suggest making oneself look as large as possible.

News that bear sightings have risen in New Hampshire come on the heels of a report that a 417-pound bear killed a Montana camper in 2021, even after she initially scared off the animal.

"Wildlife officials said the bear that killed her had developed a 'predatory instinct,'" according to the Washington Post. "Although they couldn’t determine exactly how such an instinct evolved, food and toiletries inside and near Lokan’s tent, as well as the lingering smell of cooked food from July Fourth picnic celebrations, likely played a role."

Meanwhile, in New Hampshire, residents related their encounters to WMUR.

“It was surreal because we’ve never been that close to a black before," Tim Kearney said. "There have been a couple of times where the bird feeder looks like it’s been thrown by King Kong.”

According to the report, there hasn’t been a fatal bear attack in the state since 1785. But that doesn't mean homeowners and hikers shouldn't be careful.

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