Time to be bear aware

It's going to feel like summer in the Okanagan Valley this weekend. the forecast is for sunshine with temperatures hitting 30 C on Saturday and 28 C on Sunday.

If you're planning to go out hiking with your dog, best keep it leashed. And there's a good reason.

"More than half of all negative wildlife encounters involve an off leash dog. It goes off into the bush, finds a bear and then brings the bear back to the human."

Lucy Cadman of the Black Bear Society says the bears are out of hibernation and searching for food. 

She also says, please keep your cell phone in your pocket or backpack. 

"Pressuring bears for photos is becoming a big problem. If you are trying to take a picture with your cellphone, you are way too close, so please don't take selfies with bears."

Cadman says her best advice when face to face with a black bear is talk to it in a calm voice and back up slowly. Don't turn and run though because wild animals' instinct is to chase.

In fact she says, black bears spend a lot of time and energy trying to avoid people. They'd prefer to hide in a tree until you've gone, so give them lots of space. 

(story courtesty CTV)