Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Black Bears and Golf Maintenance at HFCC

The American Black Bear is the only bear species found in North Carolina or anywhere in the eastern United States and is commonly seen here at Highlands Falls.  An adult male bear can weigh anywhere from 200 to over 700 pounds, while females weigh between 100 and 300 pounds. The current world record black bear even came from North Carolina and weighed in at 880 lbs.
Black bear digging through the trash at HFCC.
The black bear is an omnivore with a diet of both plants and animals. Their sense of smell is seven times better than a bloodhounds and 100 times better than a human’s.  It is those characteristics that have created some problems for us.  Their sense of smell has lead them to our trash dumpster and as a result, trash has been scattered everywhere.  In addition to being an eyesore and costly to continually clean up, it is also a potential health hazard for the bear.  With that in mind, we have made some changes at the maintenance department to minimize our impact with the bears.
Black bear breaking the lid of a trash dumpster.
First, we have purchased a bear "resistant" trash dumpster.  This dumpster is made completely of steel with no plastic lids.  The bears commonly broke the lids to the old dumpster simply by jumping on them until they broke.  The new dumpster also has a locking mechanism that keeps the bears from opening the lids.   Another change we have made is in moving all trash receptacles inside the building and then taking the trash to the dumpster on the days that the trash is picked up.
New bear "resistant" trash dumpster at the HFCC maintenance department.
By changing a few maintenance practices and purchasing a new dumpster, we are having a positive impact with the bears.
Locking lids.