ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources is urging state residents to use caution as bears emerge from their winter hibernation.

DNR officials say natural foods are scarce in the early spring and bears often seek human sources of food. State officials say residents can help keep black bears wild by cleaning or removing any outdoor items that may contain or smell like food. That includes locking garbage in a bear-proof trash container, or keeping garbage inside until the day of pick-up. Residents should also rinse trash containers with ammonia to eliminate food odors.

Outdoor grills should also be cleaned of food residue or kept inside. And birdfeeders should be taken down between April and November.

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(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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