HALIBURTON, ON – A mother bear and three cubs have sparked a lake association reminding people of ways to keep bears at bay.

In a blast email sent out by the Haliburton Lake, Cottagers Association was a picture of black bear cubs up on a porch.

Because of the proximity of the bears, HLCA has shared the “Bear Wise” tips from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

According to the MNRF, there are a number of things that you can do to keep the animal off of your property.

The first of those things is to make sure that your property is clear of open garbage and recycling bins, grease and other food residue is cleared off the barbecue, any fruit is cleared away or stored in sealed containers, and food and meat scraps aren’t left out.

Some other suggestions including never leaving food outside, removing or emptying bird feeders when you go in for the night, and bringing all pet food inside and storing it in sealed containers.

If you do have a run in with a black bear, you are supposed to slowly back away while keeping the bear in sight until it leaves. Assuming the bear doesn’t leave, MNRF says throw objects, wave your arms and make noise with an air horn or whistle.

Although it can be scary, the MNRF says that it’s good to be ready to use bear spray if the animal doesn’t leave. Though an alternative is to get inside a building or vehicle and call the authorities.

In a scenario that a bear is on your property, MNRF says that you should not make eye contact with it or kneel down. You should also avoid running, climbing a tree or swimming because bears can do that much faster than a human.

More information on how to be “Bear Wise” can be found by clicking here.