Recent black bear sightings in and around the towns of Gambo, Hare Bay, Indian Bay, Traytown and Glovertown have resulted in the Department of Natural Resources advising residents to be cautious of the animals.
Conservation officers with the department have placed traps in areas where black bears have been reported and recently relocated a bear from Traytown to a remote area.
A news release notes that to avoid attracting bears into their communities and backyards where they can pose a risk to public safety, residents are encouraged to ensure the proper storage and disposal of garbage, including not storing garbage in outside containers until collection day.
The department also warns residents that wild animals can be extremely dangerous and unpredictable when approached by humans.
If anyone encounters a bear, they should: remain calm; back away slowly and do not run; avoid eye contact with the bear; and, remove any garbage or food that may have attracted the bear.
Bears are common in many areas in Newfoundland and Labrador at this time of the year.
Anyone sighting a black bear is asked to contact their local Forest Management Office. The standby telephone number for the Gambo area, which should be used after regular business hours, is 709-674-1521.