Mike Bradley, a resident of Fort Bragg’s Pearl Drive, has become accustomed to regular visits by California Black Bears, whether they be mooching off his apple tree for a late night snack or rambling through his girlfriend’s yard in the late afternoon.
Yesterday at about 5:00 p.m., Bradley’s girlfriend watched one amble onto her property cruise the trash can area, sniff around for a snack, and after coming up empty-handed, make its exit down her driveway.
Bradley tells us that Pearl Drive is a hot spot for “garbage can bears.” They have learned that the thoroughfare offers a buffet of stinky treats that hit a bear’s every pleasure center. Bradley keeps his trash inside to not only deter the bears but the ravens and raccoons too.
For at least ten years Bradley has watched the bears make their rounds. In 2011, his game cam captured one binging on his apple tree at 12:15 in the morning. “That poor apple tree has taken a beating over the years.”
Digger Creek is near Bradley’s property, so after a tasty meal, there’s a nearby drink for the bears to wash it down with. Evidence of bear traffic is a common occurrence around the waterway, he said.
Bradley told us the bears do not faze him. “They aren’t out to get anything really other than chicken coops, bee hives, garbage cans, stuff like that.” He does admit that someday his chicken coop might get hit by a hungry visitor. As he has become acquainted with the bears, Bradley said he has learned to “share a space with them.”
Bradley promised us that he will keep sending snapshots of his regular visitors. We’re excited to share a quintessential Mendocino experience, a place where the lives of humankind and wildlife are intimately intertwined.