Teaching bears to keep away, not come and stay
April 28, 2022
OVANDO - The grizzly bear followed his nose towards the scent of calving. It skirted the five-wire electric fence around the corral and headed for the open gateway into the barnyard. With its first step through the gate, it felt a zap! Barking in alarm, it wheeled and ran away.
This is the desired outcome of using electrified bear mats. In 1999 Tim Manley, retired Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) Region 2 bear specialist, designed an "unwelcome mat" to deter a bear from freezer access in an outside shed. The unwelcome mat began as an electrified cattle panel laid over a rubber horse...