The Government of Saskatchewan is reminding residents that it is that time of the year to be bear aware.
Black bears can be found throughout the province, and are most commonly spotted in northern Saskatchewan forests, but their range extends southward into the aspen parkland and into other areas including the Touchwood Hills, the Qu'Appelle Valley, and the South Saskatchewan River Valley.
"Remember, Saskatchewan is bear country," Environment Minister Dana Skoropad said. "Bears and other wildlife are a natural part of our landscape. Taking some simple, proactive steps can help protect us and the bears from potential conflicts."
The Government of Saskatchewan reminds everyone that bears become a nuisance and a threat to public safety when they associate humans with their food source.
Some items that can attract bears include pet food, household waste, and overloaded compost bins. Removing these and other attractants will reduce the chance of an unwanted visitor to your yard.
To protect the public, provincial regulations prohibit the feeding of bears, wolves, cougars, and coyotes, stating “This regulation does not apply to landfills or hunters and trappers operating under a licence.”
Steps for bear-proofing your yard include:
- Store garbage in a secure building or buy a bear-resistant container. Only put your garbage bin out on the morning of collection.
- Wash all recycling items and regularly clean garbage or recycling bins.
- Ensure pet food is stored where it is not accessible to wildlife.
- Only use bird feeders in the winter while bears hibernate.
- Do not add fish, meat, fat, oils, unrinsed eggshells, or any cooked food to compost bins.
- Properly clean and store barbecue grills after each use.
The Government release stated that if a bear or any other wildlife is posing an imminent risk to human safety, to call 911.
To report an encounter with aggressive wildlife, call the Turn in Poachers and Polluters (TIPP) line at 1-800-667-7561. To report concerns about nuisance wildlife, including bears, call the Ministry of Environment at 1-800-567-4224.