As the summer months bring both people and bears back to the province’s campgrounds, the province is reminding people to be smart and use caution around the animals.
The Ministry of Environment says Saskatchewan has a robust black bear population, which ventures out to find food and new territory in the summer months. Oftentimes they are attracted to new or unfamiliar scents.
With bears being known to wander into communities and campgrounds from time to time, people can follow some tips to make sure bears don’t find food in their area, and move on.
These include locking up pet food indoors, storing garbage in a bear-proof building or container, storing food or coolers away from where bears can find them and clean and store BBQ grills after each use.
Under no circumstances should someone feed a bear either. The Environment Ministry explains that bears that interact or are fed by humans lose their fear of humans, making them more likely to be a safety concern for the community. By not attracting bears to the community, they say, people can cut down on the number of bears that need to be relocated or euthanized.
If someone encounters a bear, they are told to slowly, without turning around, walk away. Speak in low tones and try to put a large object such as a tree or rock between the bear and themself.
If a bear is doing damage to someone’s property, or they have an encounter with a bear, people can call the Turn in Poachers and Polluters (TIPP) line.