Citizens need to take own measures to avoid black bear encounters, wildlife tech. says

With the onset of warmer weather people are taking notice of black bears close to residential areas following a long winter hibernation.

Local fish and wildlife technician Denis Guitard says his department received close to 300 calls regarding black bears last year and that many callers as for the animal to be trapped.

But Guitard says not all cases require trapping.

He says residents first need to take measures to avoid attracting the animals such as  reducing garbage odours as well as keeping trash and recycle bins clean and secured.

When bears are spotted in residential areas, Guitard says, it's mostly because something has piqued their interest such as food waste as well as seeds from bird feeders.

Sightings are common this time of year because bears' natural food source are more scarce.

He says most of the time bears are just passing through and that they will only be trapped if they become problematic.

Information and tips on how to avoid encounters or problems with black bears can be found on the department's website.