Wisconsin to use electric fences to stop bear crop damage

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wildlife officials in Wisconsin may use methods such as electric fencing to stop bears from damaging crops.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that over the last seven years, about 275 farmers have enrolled in a state program that compensates farmers for damage bears cause. Last year's appraised damage was $220,000.

Department of Natural Resources wildlife damage specialist Brad Koele says there are about 28,000 bears across the state. He says problematic bears are typically trapped and relocated, but that finding them all can be challenging.

Koele says the state is giving more farmers bear hunting permits, and that the agency plans to help farmers install electric fences.

The crop damage program also applies to elk. Koele says paintball guns and drones are being tested to scare away the animals.


Information from: Wisconsin Public Radio, http://www.wpr.org

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