A bear raids a bird feeder. Submitted photo

REGION — Spring has sprung and wildlife is wasting no time shedding winter’s grip to enjoy the nice spring weather.

For many of these animals, such as black bears, they have lost a significant amount of body weight and are on the move looking for food after emerging from their winter dens. While denning, black bears enter a state of torpor, slowing their metabolism and respiration, breathing only once per 15 to 45 seconds, and dropping their heart rate to 8-21 beats per minute. Even with a lowered metabolic rate, bears still lose significant body fat. Unlike true hibernators, bears don’t eat, drink, urinate, or defecate during this time.

Once spring comes and bears emerge from their den, for two to three weeks bears are working to regulate their bodily functions slowly until normal activity ensues. At this time of year, natural foods are limited, and bears may take the risk and wander into backyards in search of easily accessible food.

Take steps now to prevent black bears from coming to your yard: Rake up unused bird seed from the ground. Remove birdfeeders between April 1 and November 1. Keep pet food and trash inside or in fenced areas. Clean grills thoroughly after use.

Comments are not available on this story.