With warm weather here, officials with Saskatchewan Environment are reminding everyone to be on the lookout for wild animals.

Each year, encounters with large predators can happen as the animals look for food and territory.

Conservation Officer Kevin Harrison of Prince Albert says it is best not to run away if you come across a bear in the wild.

“Stay calm, if you are walking in the forest and come across one, make a wide detour, slowly back away, speak in low tones and don’t look directly at the bear,” he said.

Harrison says leaving garbage and pet food outdoors may attract bears or other predators and animals, such as skunks. To reduce the risk of conflict, don’t leave garbage and pet food out.

Each year, people spending time outdoors in Saskatchewan report seeing wolves and cougars in the wild, but those encounters are much rarer.

Anyone who finds themselves in a potentially dangerous situation with a larger predator should contact their local Ministry of Environment office.

Additional information about predator safety is available online.

(PHOTO: A black bear. Photo courtesy of Canadian Wildlife Federation.)