The lack of snow this year has and will take a toll on humans, animals, plants and birds. For Mammoth Lakes, its famous bears will have a tough time and humans need to be aware of the animals’ plight.
Mammoth’s Wildlife Specialist Steve Searles talked to the Town Council about the bears recently. He told Sierra Wave that in the last two years, with lots of snow there was a constant supply of fresh grass for the bears to eat when they got up from hibernation. Searles said the bears did very well with plenty of natural food to eat all year long.
This year, the warm weather has awakened the bears early only to find far less natural food. Searles said there are 10 bears awake now. He explained that when the bears come to, they are basically breaking their winter fast. They need tender grasses that normally come out in the spring. If they can’t find that, they will have to go after human food and garbage.
Searles said Mammoth people are aware of their bears and will be ready to deal with them. Searles underscored that the bears “don’t prefer garbage.” He said they prefer grasses, tubers and roots when they wake up, but there is zero natural food available, he said.
Mammoth’s bears, said Searles, will be under a great deal of stress and pressure to find food. When Mammoth Mayor Jo Bacon asked Searles about baby bears, he said there will be a 100% mortality rate due to conditions.
Searles urged people to try hard and be aware of this year’s situation.