Be bear aware this spring: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

As black bears emerge from hibernation, Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Environment is cautioning people to be bear aware.

The bears typically wake up in late March and through April with warmer temperatures, which is timed with the availability of green shoots, grasses and tree buds, environment officials said.

Read more: Woman fatally attacked by bear in northern Saskatchewan identified as mother, teacher

However, they said bears are ruled by their stomach and that landowners need to keep their yards free of anything that might attract them.

That includes storing household waste in a secure building or a bear-resistant container and only putting out garbage bins on the morning of collection.

Other tips from environment officials include:

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  • washing all recycling items and regularly clean garbage or recycling bins
  • avoid leaving out pet food that is accessible to wildlife
  • only using bird feeders in the winter when bears are hibernating
  • not adding fish, meat, fat, oils, unrinsed eggshells or any cooked food to compost bins
  • properly cleaning and storing barbecue grills after each use

They said bears become a nuisance when they start to associate foods with humans and will leave an area if they cannot find food.

Read more: Albertan shares chilling details of grizzly bear encounter

Bears are found in many areas of the province, including all northern Saskatchewan forests and southward into the aspen parkland.

They can also be found in some isolated ranges, such as the Touchwood Hills, the Qu’Appelle Valley and the South Saskatchewan River Valley.

Anyone having an aggressive encounter with a bear or who thinks public safety is at risk should contact the Turn in Poachers and Polluters (TIPP) line at 1-800-667-7561 or dial #5555 on a SaskTel cell phone.

Concerns about nuisance bears can be reported to the ministry’s general inquiry line at 1-800-567-4224 or by email at centre.inquiry@gov.sk.ca.

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