The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and the OPP are reminding the public to exercise caution as black bears begin to come out of hibernation this spring.

Bears waking up from hibernation are faced with a scarcity of natural food sources, leading them to look for food in garbage cans and bird feeders.

You can prevent bears from visiting your home and neighbourhood by storing garbage in waste containers with tight-fitting lids.

Putting away bird feeders for the spring and cleaning food residue and grease from outdoor barbecue grills after each use Bears that enter your community are not necessarily a threat, but it is important to know who to call if you encounter a bear.

For non-emergencies, the province operates a toll-free Bear Wise reporting line (1-866-514-2327).

The line is open 24 /7 from April 1st to November 30th.

If a bear is posing an immediate threat by exhibiting threatening or aggressive behaviour, remain calm and call 911 or your local police department.