Living with Bears

As Steve always says, "If you see a bear in the wild, hug your kids and kiss your wife. It's a good thing." But if a bear is breaking into your home or raiding your cooler then that bear needs to be reprimanded by Steve or the local Mammoth Lakes Police Department. This section of the site is geared toward helping you learn more about what to do if a bear enters your home, gets into your trash, or interacts with you in any way. If you have specific questions, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Momma bear and cubs

Looking for something to make you smile? Check out this footage of a momma bear and her frolicking cubs recently gathered by Steve. Now that summer has truly arrived in Mammoth, Steve gets to witness scenes like this one nearly every day. It's the fun part of being The Bear Whisperer.



LA Times chats with the Bear Whisperer

Steve shared his bear safety tips with the Los Angeles Times recently. Click here to read the story!


Bears are Back

The Mammoth Lakes Police Department recently issued the following press release.

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 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 MLPD (760) 934-2011.


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