Now that Spring has arrived, the black bears who call the Mammoth Lakes area their home are coming out of hibernation, and they are hungry!   It’s time to remind all our residents and visitors that it is our responsibility to KEEP WILDLIFE WILD.  The best way of doing this, and preventing bears from becoming dependent on humans for food, is to follow these common sense rules:


  • Never feed any wildlife, or leave food out for bears or other wild animals 
  • Securely store food and fragrant items such as shampoo and deodorant in an airtight container.  When camping, use a bear-proof box
  • Don’t leave food, even in a cooler, in a car, tent, or other unsecure location
  • Don’t leave pet food outdoors or use a bird feeder.  Bears love bird seed!
  • Always deposit trash in a bear proof trash can or dumpster
  • Keep your car locked and your garage door closed
  • Close and lock ground floor windows when no one is home 

It is not unusual to see black bears wandering through town.  Enjoy them, but keep your distance.  If you see a bear that is misbehaving, such as trying to get into a trash dumpster, vehicle, or building, call 911 immediately.  The Town’s Wildlife Specialist and police officers are trained to handle situations such as this. 


Bears are shy and generally afraid of people.  If you feel threatened by a bear, yell or bang on something to scare the bear away.  If by chance a bear enters a structure looking for food while you are inside, make a lot of noise and go into another room, close the door, and call 911.  The bear will most likely be more frightened than you and leave.


It’s also time to remind everyone that wildlife, including deer, are on the move.  When driving, especially at dusk and dawn, be on the lookout for wild animals crossing the roadway.  Striking a deer or bear can be fatal – not only to the animal, but also to people in the car.


For more information on co-existing with wildlife in Mammoth Lakes, contact the Town’s Wildlife Specialist Steve Searles at (760) 937-BEAR or Lieutenant John Mair at (760) 934-2011 ext. 44.