If you’ve spotted a black bear already this summer, you’re not alone.

The Province of Manitoba said in some areas bear sightings may be reported more often this year than last year. Many sightings have already been reported.

“Due to a dry spring, some of the bear's natural food sources (berries and other forest vegetation) are not yet available, so they are foraging for food,” said a provincial spokesperson, in an email to CTV News.

The province said people are encouraged to secure any attractants, such as garbage and bird feeders, in order to help keep the bears away. Securing these items helps reduce the risk of bears investigating and lingering, and helps to stop them from returning.

If you do encounter a bear, the province recommends some of the following tips:

  • Stop. Remain calm. Assess the situation.
  • Do not run away as this may prompt a chase response.
  • Do not climb a tree or enter water, as these options will not guarantee your safety.
  • If a bear is in a tree, simply leave the area the way you came.
  • If the bear is unaware of you, leave the area calmly and quietly when the bear is not looking in your direction.
  • If the bear becomes aware of you, calmly identify yourself as human by talking to it in a low, calm voice while waving your arms as you back away slowly to increase your distance.

A full list of tips and more information on bears can be found on the province’s website.