May 7, 2014 4:08 pm

WATCH: Family’s encounter with young black bear as hibernation season ends

WATCH ABOVE: Video uploaded to YouTube by lewis8666. Edited for strong language.

VANCOUVER – With summer just around the corner, bears are starting to come out of hibernation and cougars and coyotes are becoming more active, so the Ministry of Environment is warning people about the increase of human-wildlife encounters.

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A family in Coquitlam uploaded the above video to YouTube on May 2, showing an encounter with a young black bear. They were setting up a tent in their yard and cleaning it when the bear appeared and started eating grass.

Eventually, the man can be seen going down to the backyard and then chasing the young animal away with a rod.

However, experts say you should never approach wildlife.

You should remain calm, keep the animal in front of you, make yourself look as large as possible and make loud noises and shout at the animal to get them to go away if possible. In the video the family can be seen yelling at the bear and making noises but the animal does not pay any attention to them.

To prevent human-wildlife conflicts, the Ministry says everyone needs to do their part by putting away food attractants including improperly stored garbage, bird seed and pet food.

Bears are emerging from hibernation and will quickly learn how to get at convenient food sources. Other animals, such as young cougars, roam wide in search of unoccupied territory, increasing their chances of wandering into residential communities, parks and campgrounds.

Under the Wildlife Act, conservation officers can issue a $230 ticket or notice for a court appearance to residents who do not secure attractants. Residents who leave out items that attract dangerous wildlife could also be issued a Dangerous Wildlife Protection Order. Failure to comply with an order carries a $575 fine.

The Conservation Officer Service says in 2013-14, they received 28,063 calls regarding human-wildlife conflicts and of those calls, 16,180 involved human-bear conflicts.

The public is encouraged to report human-wildlife conflicts that threaten public safety or result in significant property damage by calling the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line, toll free at 1 877 952-7277 (RAPP), or visit the RAPP website at: www.rapp.bc.ca

© Shaw Media, 2014

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