DALTON, N.H. (AP) — A judge has ordered a New Hampshire man to stop feeding bears in his yard after being warned numerous times by Fish and Game Department officers that it’s not a safe thing to do.

Lenny Reeg, 91, of Dalton, said the animals have been roaming in the same spot for three decades and there has never been a problem with them. But someone complained a few months ago that he was leaving bird seed out for the bears.

“They come in over to the apple trees,” he told WMUR-TV. “They eat the apples. Later on, they lay down and eat the grass. I don’t see why they are a menace.”

Officers said they met with Reeg at least a half-dozen times to try to come to a resolution. When that didn’t work, the case was brought to Lancaster Circuit Court.

Reeg agreed in court Monday to allow an electric fence to be put up to keep the bears away. He said he’s not happy about it, but in the end, he said he doesn’t want to cause any trouble. He said he’ll keep himself occupied just watching the birds.

Fish and Game officials said it’s not common for them to take people to court and that they try to resolve such issues as peacefully as possible

The department said it received a number of bear complaints this year because of the atypical spring weather and temporary food shortage. They say when nature’s food supply is low, bears are attracted to backyard items such as birdfeeders and unsealed garbage cans. They have warned residents to take down their feeders and seal the trash cans to avoid bear encounters.

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