If you have plans to hike, or bike trails in Banff National Park this weekend,  you'll want to pay extra close attention to your surroundings.

The bears are coming out of hibernation and the first of the year has been spotted within Banff National Park.

Resource Conservation Officers received the first reported sighting of a bear at Banff National Park this spring and they're advising all visitors to be prepared.

Park Officials took to social media to offer some helpful tips to stay safe. They include:

  • Carrying bear spray (be sure to check the expiration date.)
  •  Make noise
  • Keep all pets on a leash and close to you at all times.
  • Be aware of your surroundings on walking on trails and tracks in the snow.
  • Be respectful of the space and needs of wildlife (particularly after the winter season, when natural food sources are limited )

Officials strongly recommend that visitors report all bear sightings to Banff Dispatch at (403)762-1470.