AUSTIN (KXAN) — Your pet food and garbage could be attracting some unexpected guests.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is encouraging Texans to practice bear safety after several bear sightings in the western and southwestern portions of the state.
On Oct 15, TPWD reports a black bear sow and her cub were spotted in the city limits of Del Rio, in southwestern Texas — resulting in a resident shooting and killing the mother bear. The incident is being investigated.
Afterward, it was discovered the bears may have been drawn to pet food that had been left out by residents to feed stray cats, TPWD said.
Residents are advised to secure their trash and avoid leaving pet food out in the open.
Black bears, which are native to Texas and part of the ecosystem, are a protected species. If people see a bear, they should stay away and not feed it.