Now Illegal To Feed Bears In Washington State

Washington Fish & Wildlife, Bear Hunting Magazine

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife wants to remind residents that feeding bears is now against the law. Two new state laws went into effect in June that prohibit (intentionally or otherwise) leaving food or food waste in places where it can attract bears and other wild carnivores.

"This is the time of year when bears are looking to build up as much fat as possible to get through winter," stated a deputy WDFW police chief. "Putting food scraps out for them or leaving garbage cans or pet food exposed is an open invitation for them."

The new law subjects anyone who "intentionally feeds or attempts to feed" bears and other wild carnivores to a fine of up to $1,000. Another law authorizes a fine of $87 for those who "negligently feed or attempt to feed" those animals.

There are estimated to be around 30,000 black bear in Washington state.

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