As warmer spring weather begins to set in, the Department of Environmental Conservation is urging residents to be careful near coyotes and black bears.

During this time, coyotes are looking for places to build dens to house their pups, while bears are out looking for food.

Residents should never approach the animals, nor should they attempt to feed them. If a coyote or bear becomes accustomed to humans, the risk for danger is much higher than if they were left to live in the wild.

For coyotes, a loss of sense in the wild can result in attacks on pets or people who may be encroaching on the animal's territory. Pets should be monitors, as should children who may be playing outside.

Black bears will look for any food source available to them, including garbage cans, barbecue grills, bird feeders and outdoor pet feeders. DEC officials say most problems stemming from bears are because of food, and that by simply removing the source of food the bear can also be removed.

The DEC suggests people hide food sources, keep their garbage cans clean and to not feed birds when there isn't snow.

For more information about coyotes and bears click the links provided.