Although it’s still summer bears are already planning for winter. They are currently fattening up for hibernation. Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment Wildlife Biologist Matthew Tokaruk says during this time of year it’s not unusual for bears to eat for up to 20 hours and consume 20 thousand calories per day. He notes they may eat 20 to 30 pounds of berries per day often increasing their body weight by 35 percent through late summer and fall. With bears focused on eating they may not notice people in the area until they’re close to them. He advises if you encounter a bear keep your distance and don’t try to scare the animal away. Most often they will move on without any intervention.
Tokaruk adds black bears are intelligent and ruled by their stomachs. If they cannot find food they will leave the area. However when bears start to associate food sources with humans they become a public safety risk. Bears that have been fed by people lose their natural fear of humans and often have to be destroyed so never feed bears or leave food behind for them.