Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is investigating a number of incidents in which black bears have broken into homes and cars in the Red Lodge area during the past few days.
In all instances, it is apparent that the bears are finding food and becoming acclimated to humans, a combination that can lead to dangerous conflicts between bears and people.
FWP is asking Red Lodge area residents to be diligent in removing any opportunity for bears to seek or find food in or around their homes and vehicles.
Precautions include removing anything that smells like food, including pet food and garbage, from vehicles. And, until the animals have left the area, residents should close and lock windows and doors to their homes to keep bears out and to keep cooking odors from escaping and attracting wildlife.
Residents should store all garbage, barbecue grills, pet food and horse pellets in a locked building. They should remove all bird feeders from their yards and clean up apples, berries and other potential food sources from their yard.
During late summer and fall, bears instinctively are trying to add fat reserves for their winter hibernation. If they do not find food in one location, they will look elsewhere. If Red Lodge homes, businesses and vehicles are clean and bear-proofed, the animals will move on to somewhere else to find food.