Bear incidents rise due to drought, composting, pandemic - Brandon Reporter

Drought. More cubs than usual. Mandatory composting. The pandemic means more people are home and filling up bird feeders. It’s a perfect storm to draw bears into Vermonters’ back yards in unprecedented numbers.

“A lot more bears have been seen in downtown Brandon, too, and in the outskirts as well. Jed Pauls and Laura O’Brien live on Carver Street just a block from the center of town. O’Brien was home with the couple’s two daughters at 7 a.m. on a recent Tuesday when a large black bear wandered into the yard and destroyed a bird feeder. “I was on a bike ride, but they watched that bear for about 30 minutes,” Pauls said, adding that a seed bag O’Brien tied around the pole to keep the squirrels out didn’t work too well for bears. In fact, calls have almost doubled. Serra reported getting 17 bear calls between January and June 2019. This year in that time, she has received 26 bear calls."



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