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New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Media contact: Lesley Ikeda, (505) 795-3745
Public contact: (505) 476-8000
Lesley.ikeda@state.nm.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, JUNE 5, 2012

GAME & FISH DOCUMENTARY ON BLACK BEARS TO AIR ON KYNM-TV

SANTA FE, N.M. – A short documentary about bears and trash in the City of Raton will air on free-to-air digital signal TV in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe viewing areas this week. It was produced by the Department of Game and Fish.

The documentary illustrates the problem trash creates for bears and bear managers. It is scheduled to air at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 6 on My Family TV channel 30.1; 7 p.m. on Tuff TV channel 30.2, and 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 9 on 30.1.

Albuquerque presents an excellent opportunity for the first public broadcast of this program due to the healthy bear population in and around the Sandia and Manzano Mountains that often comes into conflict with the human population in New Mexico’s largest community. In 2011, the Department received 163 reports from the Albuquerque area of black bears killing livestock, raiding trash cans, breaking into campers, and tearing down bird feeders.

Currently, New Mexico’s conservation officers are handling complaints about a bear killing chickens in Tijeras, another raiding a camp in the Manzano Mountains, and a third bear raiding bee hives in La Joya. An aggressive bear was killed Saturday by an Angel Fire homeowner. The bear previously was captured and relocated by the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

To view a video about bear habitat conditions in the Sandia Mountains, visit the Department’s YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRPAT2CSt80

Bears that regularly dine on trash generated by humans often lose their fear of people and become dangerous. In late May, bear bites were recorded in Arizona and Colorado. A woman living just north of the New Mexico border between Raton and Trinidad was bitten while trying to chase off a two-year-old bear by banging pots and pans. In Arizona, a woman’s scalp was lacerated by a bear while she slept in a tent on the Tonto National Forest.

Wildlife agencies and public-land managers across the West encourage homeowners and campers to pick up their trash and dispose of it properly in bear-resistant containers. Unfortunately, the City of Raton has thousands of residential and commercial dumpsters which are not bear proof. Raton has an abundance of black bears roaming the street every night eating from those dumpsters.

In addition to continuing education efforts across the state, the Department of Game and Fish is working with Raton and San Miguel County to address their trash management issues through a federal grant to provide money to purchase new bear-resistant dumpsters.

 

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