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With bears on the rise, states hope to reduce human conflicts

BANGOR, Maine – a year after a spring and summer characterized by a high number of nuisance bear complaints, wildlife officials are encouraging people and bears to keep their distance from each other.

Conflicts between bears and people are common in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont in the summer months. Last year a total of 719 complaints of nuisance bears in Maine was the second highest number since 2007.

A Maine bear biologist, says that the number of complaints in connection with the availability of natural food, such as berries, acorns and beechnuts. Last year, dry weather sent bears searching for alternative food around bird feeders and trashcans.

It is too early to say when that will happen this year. The state has received more than 30 complaints so far, and is encouraging people to take precautions.

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