Alligator River/Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
P. O. Box 1969
Manteo, North Carolina 27954

Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131

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News Release

July 22, 2009

Join the Alligator River Refuge Litter Pick up scheduled for July 31st at 1:30

Litter is always ugly.... But, few people realize it can also be deadly! This year has been a bad year for black bear/human interactions on the Dare County mainland. Most of the problems come from bears being fed. Deputy Refuge Manager Scott Lanier commented, "A fed bear is a dead bear. Once a bear has learned to get food from people, it's just a matter of time before the bear or a person is hurt or dead. We have people call the office constantly asking us to move a bear. A problem bear here will be a problem bear any place it's moved. Moving the bear is not the answer. The answer is to NOT feed bears."

Not all feeding of wildlife is intentional. Unfortunately, litter along Highway 64, resulting from the heavy stream of summer traffic, has become quite a problem for many refuge critters. Bears, especially, are being "baited" to the sides of the highway by leftovers carelessly tossed out the window with trash. The results are devastating - ranging from the critters being hit by vehicles to people being approached by wild bears.

Be a part of the solution. Don't feed bears intentionally, and don't throw your trash out the window. Or, go a step further: come out and help local volunteers, and refuge staff perform a litter pick up on Friday, July 31st at 1:30 p.m. The rendezvous spot will be the Creef Cut Trail parking lot on Milltail Rd., off Highway 64, near East Lake. Bring gloves if you can. For more information, please contact Abbey Reibel at 252-987-1118 or by e-mail Abbey_Reibel@fws.gov. Remember- feeding bears and littering are also illegal.

Bear walking on a gravel road, next to the grass.
Tossing trash out the window of your car causes all kinds of problems for wildlife. On the Dare County mainland, black bears are being lured to the highways by leftover fast foods tossed out with the trash. Join in an effort to begin to correct this problem. Meet at the parking area for Creef Cut Wildlife Trail at 1:30 on Friday, July 31 to participate in a litter pick-up. Be a part of the solution. Photo Credit - USFWS, Cindy Heffley.