Watch out for bears as they emerge from hibernation

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- While the weather is warming up, it is not uncommon to see bears roaming around now that they are getting out of hibernation. During the hibernation stage, bears can lose up to 100 pounds and when it’s finally over they begin to look for food.

"They're not coming out of hibernation doing what people think. Looking for people and cows and different things to eat, they're not doing that. They are just looking for small green type things to get their system working again," said Wisconsin Black Bear Education Center Director Jeff Traska.

Traska said that greens are the first food sources that they go for after hibernation and they are also easy to find.

"I try to tell people that a bear is just a couple hundred pound gray squirrel, that's all it is. It's looking for a food source that's great, they're going to get it," Traska added.

If you are someone who has seen bears on your property before, you could see them again.

"Their memory is really good, so if they were in someone’s bird feeder or pet dish last year, they're going into that spot again," Traska explained.

Traska says that one way to prevent that from happening is to take the food source away. He also says that if you do see cubs alone, leave them where they are.

"Just leave them be. There has been instances where the mother and cubs were half a mile apart. But, just try to keep them wild and enjoy them," Traska said.

If you are interested in visiting the Wausau Black Bear Education Center click here.