Local police are warning about bears that are on the loose in the Hudson Valley.

Police in East Fishkill have received a number of reports of black bear sightings in Hopewell Junction.

While bears wandering around rural areas is common, officials remind everyone to bring pets and children inside and be alert when you are outside.

If you see a bear, seek shelter and call police about the bear’s location. Don’t attempt to feed the bear, which is illegal, and can cause deadly conflicts with the animal, police say.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation released the following tips to reducer human-bear conflicts at home:

• Remove bird feeders after April 1. New York's black bears begin emerging from their winter dens in mid to late March. Bird feed such as suet and seeds are a very strong attraction for bears, even if they can't reach it. Read more about bears and bird feeders.
• Garbage is extremely attractive to bears! It should always be kept in sealed garbage cans inside a sturdy building like a garage or shed. Anything with an odor can attract a bear. Note: Burning garbage is illegal and may increase its attractiveness to bears.
o If you frequently find bears foraging in your garbage cans, despite proper storage, consider using a bear-resistant trash container. (View a list of bear resistant products under 'Links Leaving DEC's website' on the right side of this page.)
o Mask garbage odors with ammonia-soaked rags.
o If you have curbside garbage pickup- Take out trash just before your scheduled pickup. Do not put garbage at the curb the night before.
o Do not place meat or bones in compost piles.
• Remove the grease can from grills after every use. Turn the grill on "High" for several minutes after you are done cooking to burn residual odors off the grill.
• Do not place food outside to attract wildlife. Any food stuff used to attract birds, squirrels or other wildlife will also attract bears.
• Do not feed pets outside. Leftover food or even an empty dish can attract a bear.
• Do not operate refrigerators or freezers outside or on porches. Bears can smell what is inside.
• Electric Fencing is an effective tool for keeping bears out of apiaries, chicken coops, compost, and gardens

For more ways to reduce interactions with bears, click here.

More From Hudson Valley Post