A black bear walks in low-lying blueberry thickets, in Juneau, Alaska. Credit: Becky Bohrer | AP

Authorities in Maine are warning people not to leave food out in their yards and risk attracting hungry black bears as they come out of hibernation.

Jen Vashon, a biologist for the state’s wildlife department, says bear complaints could be higher than usual this year because of the delayed spring weather. She says the department has already investigated 27 complaints so far this spring.

Vashon says natural food for bears is scarcest this time of year, so some may venture into people’s backyards looking for something to eat.

The Portland Press Herald reports that Kennebunk police have confirmed several bear sightings and are urging people to be mindful of what they leave out.

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