WASHINGTON (CN) – Using air horns is an effective nonlethal way to deter polar bears from approaching people, according to a guide of legal methods of deterrence issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Polar bears are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and only non-lethal means are allowed to deter their interaction with human beings or destruction of human property, except in emergency situations where human life is endangered.
As the bears are mostly attracted by the smell of food, most of the agency’s recommendations concern the construction of bear proof garbage containers, fencing, walls and other methods to keep bears from destroying property or coming near humans.
The guide also includes specifications for the construction of bear-proof cages to keep people safe from bears when entering or exiting buildings. Polar bears have been blamed for killing eight people in the last thirty years, according to Polar Bears International.