New York State environmental officials are reminding residents to take steps to prevent unwanted visits from bears coming out of hibernation.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation says black bears have begun to emerge and are seeking food.
DEC says it has received several reports of bears knocking down bird feeders to eat the seed. The Department is advising everyone who lives in bear country to take down bird feeders by April 1st, store garbage inside secure buildings, and feed pets indoors.
The Department says many black bears went into their dens with low fat reserves in the fall due to poor natural food availability, causing them to emerge from their winter dens early.